With the prescription drug abuse epidemic still in full force, it might not come as a surprise that the latest statistics show that prescription drugs
cause more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. The problem of prescription drug abuse has been growing since the 1990s, and in 2013, of the 43,982 deaths caused by drug overdose
, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 51.8 percent—22,767 people—died from prescription drug abuse. The fact that two illicit drugs often seen as causing the biggest problems in the country—heroin and cocaine—lead to fewer overdose deaths than the pills prescribed by doctors underlines the severity of the prescription drug epidemic.