Researchers at the Trust for America’s Health found that rates of overdose and addiction doubled since 1999 in most states. In West Virginia—the state with the highest number of drug overdose deaths—the rate was six times higher than fourteen years ago.
Prescription drugs, of course, are legal, but that hasn’t stopped massive abuses and tragic deaths. There’s a kind of anti-drug war rhetoric that suggests that all our drug problems will go away, or at least be significantly reduced, if drugs were made legal and were regulated by local governments. But legalized cocaine or legalized heroin are just as likely to be abused as legalized prescription drugs. Judging by this report, that potential for abuse is quite high.[Image of pills courtesy of Shutterstock]