To the Editor: Because of a rapid increase in drug-related deaths, Dr Hall and colleagues1 studied deaths from unintentional overdose in West Virginia in 2006 and found that most involved prescription opioid analgesics. In their editorial focusing on physician responsibility, Drs McLellan and Turner2 noted that the number of opioid prescriptions increased nationally, and especially in West Virginia, from 2000 to 2005.
Layne RD, Pellegrino RJ, Lerfald NM. Prescription Opioids and Overdose Deaths. JAMA. 2009;301(17):1766-1769. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.578