This came from Dr Mercola's site and has a lot to say about our war on drugs- like it should be against prescription drugs! Fewer people die from illegal recreational drug use than prescription drugs and our attention should be on legal drugs as the murderers as well as our family doctors and society. Taking pills to ease pain is as common as breathing and to think that people are doing anything less than this is to ignore the facts. remember Rush and Oxycontin/ just another name for legal heroin!
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/artic ... drugs.aspx
Recreational drugs, including cocaine and heroin, are responsible for an estimated 10,000-20,000 American deaths per year [1,2]. While this represents a serious public health problem, it is a "smokescreen" for America's real drug problem. America's "war on drugs" is directed at the wrong enemy. It is obvious that interdiction, stiff mandatory sentences, and more vigorous enforcement of drug laws have failed.
The reason is simple. Cause and effect have been reversed.
The desire to solve problems by taking drugs is a product of our culture. When a child is taught by loving parents that the appropriate response to pain or discomfort is taking a pill, it is obvious that such a child, when faced with the challenges of adolescence, will seek comfort by taking drugs......<snip>.........An article in Newsweek  put this into perspective. Adverse drug reactions, from "properly" prescribed drugs, are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. According to this article, only heart disease, cancer, and stroke kill more Americans than drugs prescribed by medical doctors. Reactions to prescription drugs kill more than twice as many Americans as HIV/AIDS or suicide. Fewer die from accidents or diabetes than adverse drug reactions. It is important to point out the limitations of this study. It did not include outpatients, cases of malpractice, or instances where the drugs were not taken as directed.
According to another AMA publication, drug related "problems" kill as many as 198,815 people, put 8.8 million in hospitals, and account for up to 28% of hospital admissions.  If these figures are accurate, only cancer and heart disease kill more patients than drugs. Has the situation improved since the publication of this information? Hardly. Null  et al have published the most comprehensive and well-documented study I have seen of deaths associated with medical practice. In this report, their research revealed some shocking facts. The findings are summarized in the abstract:
Dr Mercola getting heavy on the drug and pharmaceutical giants.
According to available data, some 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs that are properly prescribed and properly administered, and side effects kill as many as 198,815 people.
Let me give you an idea of what the medical error and mortality rate of conventional medicine looks like:
The recorded error rate of ICU’s is like the post office losing more than 16,000 pieces of mail every hour of every day, or banks deducting 32,000 checks from the wrong bank account every hour, 24/7
The recorded medical errors and deaths equate to six jumbo jets falling out of the sky each day, 365 days a year
Since 2001, a recorded 490,000 people have died from properly prescribed drugs in the United States, while 2,996 people died on U.S. soil from terrorism, all in the 9/11 attacks; prescription drugs are therefore 16,400 percent more dangerous than terrorism. If deaths from over-the-counter drugs are also included, then drug consumption leaps to being 32,000 percent more dangerous than terrorism. And conventional medicine viewed as a whole is 104,700 percent deadlier than terrorism
However, sobering as this may sound, let’s take a closer look at these statistics, to give you an even more shocking view of what your REAL risk of drug-induced death might be.
During sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate on November 18, 2004, whistle-blower David J. Graham, MD, MPH, stated that according to estimates derived from the Kaiser-FDA study, Vioxx caused upwards of 160,000 heart attacks and strokes. This data was published in The New England Journal of Medicine October 21, 2004; 351(17): 1707-1709.
Of these, an estimated 30-40 percent probably died. That would put us at an estimated 64,000 deaths from Vioxx alone between its release in 1999 until its removal in 2004. That makes just one drug responsible for about 6 percent of all recorded deaths from side effects in one year.
Or, based on the other statistic of 490,000 deaths from prescription drugs between 2001 and 2007, which comes out to be about 70,000 people per year, Vioxx alone would account for just under 19 percent of drug deaths per year.
What I’m driving at here is the fact that the number of properly recorded drug-induced deaths are MINUSCULE in relation to the REAL numbers. Reputable sources state the number of properly recorded deaths and side effects from drugs to be around 6 percent. Some state it’s probably lower than one percent. I’ve never seen anyone go over 10 percent.
Here's an official govt site that explains their view of things- from 2004- various groups broken down into individual statistics by selected characteristics-Unintentional Poisoning Deaths --- United States, 1999--2004
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reporthttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5605a1.htm
In 2004, poisoning was second only to motor-vehicle crashes as a cause of death from unintentional injury in the United States (1). Nearly all poisoning deaths in the United States are attributed to drugs, and most drug poisonings result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs (2). Previous reports have indicated a substantial increase in unintentional poisoning mortality during the 1980s and 1990s (2,3). To further examine this trend, CDC analyzed the most current data from the National Vital Statistics System. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which determined that poisoning mortality rates in the United States increased each year from 1999 to 2004, rising 62.5% during the 5-year period. The largest increases were among females (103.0%), whites (75.8%), persons living in the southern United States (113.6%), and persons aged 15--24 years (113.3%). Larger rate increases occurred in states with mostly rural populations. Rates for drug poisoning deaths increased 68.3%, and mortality rates for poisonings by other substances increased 1.3%. The largest increases were in the "other and unspecified," psychotherapeutic, and narcotic drug categories. The results suggest that more aggressive regulatory, educational, and treatment measures are necessary to address the increase in fatal drug overdoses.
So if you wonder why people get hooked on pain pills, you can blame it on our conditioning and the drug companies greed to exploit it. The new drug pusher seems proud of his success and continues to model themselves after their mentor- Doctor death( not Kervorkian)- the real friend of the AMA.
But the pusher don't care if you live or die! Be careful with those little pills! They're legalized death! See how they smile as they pass their drugs on to you.