Accidental painkiller deaths rose 91 percent, between 1999 and 2002.

A report, published in the online “Early View” edition of Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, listed 4,451 deaths for opioids without cocaine or heroin, while cocaine alone caused 2,569 or heroin alone 1,061 deaths.

The deaths from opioid-based painkillers — including oxycondone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and methadone — have increased in recent years, as the drugs themselves have become more popular on the black market.

Indeed, the profile of those who registered a significant number of accidental painkiller overdoses in the study — men in their 40sdoes not match “those of people who typically experience chronic pain, who are more likely to be female and older.”

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