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Resource ID: #27874
Subject: Drugs
Source: CBS News
Affiliation: 
Date: Jan. 6, 7, April 16, May 25, June 2

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Over the past five years, prescription drug abuse has become a raging epidemic in this country. Seventy-eight Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Prescription rates for oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone have quadrupled in the last sixteen years. Over five million people in this country are addicted to prescription pain meds. No state has felt the effects of this more than West Virginia. With the highest rate of prescription overdose deaths in the nation and the highest rate of use, this tiny state of 1.8 million sits at the heart of the epidemic. Driving these troubling statistics are the corrupt doctors, greedy pharmacists and negligent drug wholesalers who form the pill mill chains that indiscriminately prescribe and hand out pain meds for profit. With West Virginia serving as an extreme reflection of the country's spiraling rates of opioid addiction, CBS News set out to drill down into the layers of the state's epidemic.

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