According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 980,000 people in the U.S. are addicted to some type of opiates: a sharp uptick in recent years. The number of emergency room visits linked to non-medical use of prescription pain relievers has more than doubled in recent years. The prescription painkillers being abused include oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone. And in six states—Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah and Vermont—accidental drug deaths due to use of anxiety medications increased 64 percent between 2004 and 2007.
We talk about this growing problem with Glen Hanson, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Utah. He's also the director of the Utah Addiction Center. And Wendy Gren talks about her personal experience abusing prescription drugs. She says she had an addiction for 10 years, and now works as an administrative assistant at The Haven, a drug and alcohol treatment center.