Prescription Pill Deaths Among Women Surge

Researchers see a 400 percent increase in deaths linked to prescription pills since 1999.
2:46 | 07/03/13

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Transcript for Prescription Pill Deaths Among Women Surge
So many women are now overdosing on the medication in this country. So, what's causing this spike? We have a story from the newest addition to our abc news family, joining us with the story. A big "gma" welcome. Welcome, welcome. Thank you. Thank you, guys. This is a really shocking story. Women dying of prescription drug overdose and cervical cancer. The cdc says more women are overdosing on prescription pills than ever before. And the problem is just getting worse. ♪ I drink alone ♪ Reporter: In "nurse jackie," the title character, played by edi faal coe, is a nurse hooked on prescription pills. There's ten vials in the drawer. You take one vial. Nine vials remain, hit confirm. Reporter: And jamie lee curtis, the wife and mother of two, openly discussed how she became addicted to pain pills after a cosmetic procedure. A new report from the cdc has alarming, new statistics of women fighting addictions to prescription meds. The report revealed a woman is admitted to the e.R. For prescription pill overdose every three minutes. And the number of deaths from prescription pill overdoses jumped 400% between 1999 and 2010. Nicki got help before it was too late. She became hooked on prescription pills meant to treat her chronic pain from crohn's disease. I was taking 70 to 80 pills a day. Possibly more. Reporter: Doctors tell us women are much more likely to suffer from painful conditions, often treated by prescription pain pills. And from there, they're more likely than men to get hooked. Why are we seeing such an increase in women dieing from prescription painkillers? Well, this is a trend that we're seeing. We are, as physicians, describing more prescription pain medications. So, there's more prescriptions out there. And I think women tend to be prescribed those more frequently. Negin is still in rehab, learning lessons every day. Just because a doctor prescribes it to you, doesn't mean it's okay and it's safe. Reporter: And speaking out to help save other women's lives. And one doctor told us that with a persistent patient, asking for pain relief, it takes 5 minutes to say yes the a pill and 35 minutes to say no. More women are taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. THAT'S WHY THEY'RE O.D.'ing. Thank you, aditi. Welcome again. Nice to be here. Next up here in "the heat index."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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