Federal health researchers are calling for urgent action on the abuse of prescription painkillers.
A new study shows emergency room visits tied to this type of drug abuse jumped by more than 100% between 2004 and 2008.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says this alarming increase points to the critical need to ensure medications like oxycodone are being used properly and safely. Researchers say part of the problem is doctors are writing more prescriptions for these painkillers.
The government says there are more than 13,000 fatal overdoses annually from these powerful pain medications.
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