A new report shows painkiller prescription rates vary widely among states. Texas does better than some of its neighbors on this issue.
Border states Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana are among the states that prescribe the most painkillers. Dr. Grant Fowler at Houston's UT Health Medical School says the typical victim is a middle aged woman.
"It'd be a 50-something year old woman actually that just doesn't wake up the next morning. Not a suicide 'cause there's no note or anything -- we've seen a huge uptick in that. Usually it's a combination of a narcotic, a muscle relaxant and something in the Valium family, all three -- that tends to be the bad thing for adults."
Dr. Fowler says he wouldn't mind seeing a little bit tighter control with prescription drug laws in Texas.
"Well, we may need a little tighter control in Texas, maybe to help it, but I don't think we have the problem our neighbors next to us, Oklahoma and Louisiana, don't have the tight control; they have a much higher prescribing rate and a much higher risk for overdose."