If you guessed drugs, you're right according to this article and analysis published by the LA Times. Wow. According to the Times, drugs kill one person every 14 minutes in this country, and the death toll has doubled in the past 10 years. If you think heroin an cocaine are primarily to blame, you're wrong. Drugs like Vicodin, Soma, Fentanyl patches/pops, Oxycontin, and Xanax kill twice as many people as heroin and cocaine combined.
The other eye-opener here is the lack of a drug victim stereotype, as they describe in the article:
A review of hundreds of autopsy reports in Southern California reveals one tragic demise after another: A 19-year-old Army recruit, who had just passed his military physical, took a handful of Xanax and painkillers while partying with friends. A groom, anxious over his upcoming wedding, overdosed on a cocktail of prescription drugs. A teenage honors student overdosed on painkillers her father left in his medicine cabinet from a surgery years earlier. A toddler was orphaned after both parents overdosed on prescription drugs months apart. A grandmother suffering from chronic back pain apparently forgot she'd already taken her daily regimen of pills and ended up double dosing.
The other startling observation is that Vicodin is now the single most frequently prescribed drug in this country--more common than any cholesterol drug or antibiotic. And it is also the most commonly abused drug.
Click here to read the entire article. Thanks, LA TImes.