It's not just OxyContin, Vicodin and other powerful painkillers that are getting people hooked. Users are also turning to Ritalin and other stimulants, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antidepressants that can bring in big money on the street. "The prescription drug epidemic has been around," Lee said. "But now in the past 10 years, it's completely nuts. This is a far different era than when people were just alcoholics."
Demographics are changing, too. According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, middle-age women are the fastest growing group succumbing to overdose deaths, mostly with prescription painkillers. From 1999 and 2010, the CDC report found, the rate of overdose deaths among women in their mid-40s through mid-60s tripled.