Check out this interesting article from The Washington Post:
The rise of fatal overdoses over the last 15 years is startling. In 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 38,329 fatal drug overdoses in the United States, more than double the 16,849 fatal overdoses observed in 1999.
Overdosing is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, accounting for more deaths than traffic fatalities or gun homicides and suicides. Fatal overdoses from opiate medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone have quadrupled since 1999, accounting for an estimated 16,651 deaths in 2010.