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Prescription Drug Overdose Rate Skyrockets

State numbers show that the overdose rate from highly controlled prescription painkillers is skyrocketing in New Mexico. The Alamogordo Daily News reports a recent New Mexico Department of Health report says the overdose rate increased statewide by 61.8 % between 2001 and 2010.

Meanwhile, the sales of highly controlled prescription painkillers like oxycodone, morphine and methadone, increased 111.5 % during the same period. Since 2007, the overdose death rate from prescription drugs like oxycodone, morphine and methadone has exceeded the death rate from illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

The numbers mirror a recent Associated Press analysis that showed the sale of prescription painkillers have exploded in new parts of the country. In 2010, 468 New Mexicans statewide died from drug overdoses.