For the first time in U.S. history, drug overdoses and other types of poisonings now kill more people than guns, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Record numbers of West Virginians are dying in the quiet epidemic, mostly from prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and methadone.
I tried to find the article mentioned in the story; someone needs to improve the search function on the health statistics site. I did find this though, which supports the NPR report.
I doubt this story will make much more than a ripple in the public consciousnesses. The irrational fear that the media seems to like isn't present. Firearms are something unusual in many people lives, but everyone is familiar with prescription medications. That which is familiar isn't scary.