The December issue looks at the work states face to deal with the health care needs of an aging population and new approaches to teacher evaluations.
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Prescription drug abuse, misuse and overdoses are on the rise. Drug overdose death rates have increased fivefold since 1990. In 2008, drug overdoses killed 36,450 Americans, nearly 15,000 of whom died from prescription opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone.
These drugs also were responsible for nearly half a million emergency room visits in 2009. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, prescription drug misuse, abuse and fraud cost private health insurers almost $25 billion a year.
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