Death by Modern Medicine: Seeking Safe Solutions, written by Dr. Carolyn Dean, outlines the statistics and issues within several other categories of prescription drugs that have caused deaths despite being properly prescribed and used.
Dr. Dean's latest book has uncovered even more statistics of iatrogenic (medically caused) death than her original paper "Death by Medicine." The death toll has gone up to almost 900,000 annually from various areas that include hospital stays, surgeries, incorrect or unnecessary procedures and prescriptions.
But the highest death toll comes with adverse reactions from "correctly prescribed" medications and procedures. 
Over the counter drugs (OTC) haven't been included in these statistics, but OTC sleeping pills and Tylenol (acetaminophen) are responsible for many more ER visits and deaths. Also not included are permanent disabilities from vaccines and other drugs.
The numbers are probably worse than any statistical reports, as not all adverse reactions are actually reported.
Regardless of Dr. Dean's and others' offered solutions, the actual solution probably won't come until the whole edifice of the medical mafia finally crumbles with enough health-conscious people abandoning it, by self-educating and living healthier lifestyles while seeking natural medical solutions.
The prescribed painkiller quandaryOxycodone is the main opioid ingredient of OxyContin, a synthetic offshoot of heroin. Oxycodone ingredients were once a last-ditch solution for usually terminal cancer patient pain when morphine failed. That was a couple of decades ago.
Since then, oxycodone opioids have been used in several prescription drugs that have been successfully marketed to overcome original resistance to prescribing potentially addictive painkillers. Now, they're being prescribed too often and too easily.
And the overdose death toll has skyrocketed to over 15,000, more than street heroin and cocaine combined.  
By the way, late-stage cancer patients have used various forms of full-cannabinoid hemp (including THC) to relieve pain from cancer and cure it without addiction. It can't be patented, so Big Pharma wants to keep it from competing with its high-profit patented drugs, and it's still mostly illegal. But that's beginning to change, slowly.
In 2010, 254 million opioid prescriptions were filled in the USA. Shortly after that report, the CDC estimated that health insurers forked over several billion dollars for health care costs related to prescription painkillers' adverse effects.
Meanwhile, Big Pharma raked in over $11 billion in revenue from opioid sales, with Purdue Pharma's OxyContin, for which they were once fined $635 million for false advertising, pulling in over $3 billion of that. 
So who are getting all these prescriptions? A lot of prescriptions, driven by oxycodone addicts, are obtained illegally or creatively. One such notorious, hypocritical example is Rush Limbaugh's incredible oxycodone, mostly OxyContin, addiction.
Hypocritical because, for a few years up until Limbaugh got busted for obtaining and using massive amounts of oxycodone through multiple doctor resources, he often railed on air about throwing drug users in jail, even while he was high on illegally obtained OxyContin. Suspiciously, the charges were dropped or reduced from felonies. 
Other painkillers, like Percocet, Vicodin and fentanyl, contain some variation of oxycodone, chemically close to heroin. But OxyContin is almost pure oxycodone. It's the strongest and most addictive. The others include either some aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol), also unhealthy with long-term use.
Even those who have experienced enough severe pain to warrant oxycodone become addicted and experience terrible withdrawals if they try to kick the painkillers. 
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