Americans' treacherous relationship with prescription painkillers and other drugs appears to be worsening, with fatal overdoses up 7 percent in one year - and twice that rate of increase in New Jersey and triple in Pennsylvania, according to new federal statistics. Drug-related deaths for the first time topped 1,000 in New Jersey and 2,000 in Pennsylvania in 2011; more than 41,000 died nationwide.
Despite the increase, New Jersey's drug poisoning rate remained well below the national average, placing it 36th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Pennsylvania ranked 7th nationally, moving from 14th the previous year. It leapt over Delaware, now ranked 9th, one of 11 states that experienced declines.