A government health agency says the United States is in the grip of an epidemic of prescription drug overdoses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more people die from such overdoses than from all illegal drugs combined. And accidental prescription drug deaths in the United States each year outnumber highway traffic fatalities. Recent celebrity deaths from apparent prescription drug overdoses have helped to put this public health problem into the spotlight.
The death of American singer and actress Whitney Houston has sparked discussion about accidental overdosing on prescription drugs.