Since 1999, the number of deaths from prescription drug overdoses has increased by more than 300 percent, from 297 to 1,140 in 2011. The vast majority of unintentional deaths are drug or medication-related, occurring when people misuse or abuse these drugs. Overdose Fact Sheet
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recognized this growing problem, not only in North Carolina, but in the rest of the country. It has launched a new program, Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States, which provides resources and expertise to help prevent overdose deaths related to prescription opioids.
North Carolina is one of 16 states selected to receive funds through a competitive application process.