New Report: Deaths from Painkiller Abuse Reaching Epidemic Levels

A new reports says deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says overdose deaths have more than tripled in the past decade.

West Michigan Community Mental Health in Ludington is seeing more and more patients struggling with prescription drug abuse. The over prescribing of painkillers, and a spike in recreational use, are a major part of what is driving the trend. Nearly half of all emergency room visits in 2009 were from people who misused or abused these drugs.

Abusers are also combining the drugs with alcohol which can be a deadly combination. Doctors say keeping an eyes on your kids and not storing these drugs in your house, or locking them up, goes a long way in preventing abuse.

9 and 10's Kyle Mitchell and Photojournalist Joel Deaner have on what is driving this deadly trend.