Painkiller use exploding

File under, zero surprise:

People in the United States are living in a world of pain and they are popping pills more than ever to cope with it.

The amount of five major painkillers sold at retail establishments rose 88% between 1997 and 2005, according to an Associated Press analysis of statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

More than 200,000 pounds of codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and meperidine were purchased at retail stores during the most recent year represented in the data. That total is enough to give more than 300 milligrams of painkillers to every person in the country.

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