As the issue gains attention across the county and nation, March is set to be declared as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month in Orange County by county supervisors.

The problem has exploded in recent years, now surpassing some of the other leading causes of death for adults.

Nationwide about 22,000 people ages 25 to 64 died from prescription drug overdoses in 2010, according to a resolution set for approval by Orange County supervisors this week.

That’s more deaths than from heroin and cocaine combined.

Misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals led to 1.2 million emergency room visits in 2009, the resolution adds.

Supervisors are on track this week to designate the month for prescription drug abuse awareness. It’s unclear whether they will also be ramping up on-the-ground efforts to address the issue.

Curious what else is happening this week? Click here to check out our rundown at On the Agenda.

Please contact Nick Gerda directly at  and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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