What is in your medicine cabinet could be more dangerous than what is in your driveway.

That's the takeaway from a new report on the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse from the Los Angeles Times. Drug deaths have doubled within a decade, while traffic fatalities have declined.

According to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drugs killed at least 37,485 people nationwide in 2009.

See the interactive map: Rise in drug-induced deaths since 2000

"Fueling the surge in deaths are prescription pain and anxiety drugs that are potent, highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. Among the most commonly abused are OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma." The Times explains.

Read More about abused drugs: Football and Painkillers

Amy S.B. Bohnert, a researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School who is studying ways to lower the risk of prescription drugs told the Times: "It's a wonderful medical advancement that we can treat pain. But we haven't figured out the safety belt yet."

Read the full article from the Los Angeles Times here.


The Los Angeles Times, "Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., data show" By Lisa Girion, Scott Glover and Doug Smith, September 17, 2011