Hydrocodone pills, the generic version of Vicodin, shown at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.
February 20, 2013 Pharmaceuticals were involved in more than half of the 38,329 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2010. Opioid painkillers, such as hydrocodone, were the most common prescription drugs involved. But drugs for mental health conditions were also implicated often.
A pharmacy technician counts generic Vicodin tablets at Oklahoma Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla.
June 12, 2012 More than 40 states have systems in place to monitor prescription drugs, but budget strains and unwieldy databases have hindered their use by doctors and pharmacists to curb drug abuse.
More people end up in the emergency room from overdosing on Vicodin, pictured here, and other prescription painkillers, than heroin or cocaine, a government report says.
November 1, 2011 A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the nation's emergency rooms are seeing far more overdoses of prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin than heroin or cocaine.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor