OxyContin

OxyContin

The rate of opioid overdoses has tripled since 2000, with one contributing factor a major increase in prescriptions of pain medications such as OxyContin. In 2007, OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and three of its executives were ordered to pay a $634.5 million fine for misleading the public about the painkiller’s risk of addiction. Since then, the scale of the public health crisis caused by misuse of opioids — including prescription and illicit drugs — has only grown. Drug overdose has now overtaken motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in 2014, opioids were involved in more than 28,000 deaths in the United States, helping to set a U.S. record for deaths from overdose.