The deadly grip prescription drug abuse has on Broward County has gotten tighter.
Fatal overdoses linked to the painkiller oxycodone increased 57 percent in 2009 from the year prior while deaths blamed on the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam jumped 35 percent.
The grim figures are based on a report released Wednesday by state medical examiners and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, chronicling drug-related deaths statewide.
The same report notes an increased number of overdoses in Palm Beach County, but the changes are minimal to moderate.
"One of the tragedies in so many of these deaths is they are preventable," said Jim Hall, head of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Substance Abuse at Nova Southeastern University.