Did you know that over the past few decades, drug overdose has become one of the leading causes of deaths in America?  Due to the abuse of opioid painkillers like Oxycontin, American drug overdose has risen dramatically. According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicinethe rise in drug deaths hasn't been evenly spread out across the country, but has gone up most dramatically in rural areas, increasing by 300 percent for the entire U.S.  In 1999, only 3 percent of U.S. counties had an annual drug death rate of more than ten people per 100,000. By 2008, 54 percent of counties did.

Rural counties saw higher increases in age-adjusted death rates between 1999 and 2009. As you can see, the maps show about the same death rates for rural and urban populations in 2008-2009, but most rural areas started out with significantly lower drug deaths than urban areas back in 1999. The death rate in rural counties has increased 394 percent in those years, while metropolitan counties' rates went up 297 percent.

Lets hope this doesn't rise even further.  Educate your children and keep them close.