Fatal overdoses: Methadone is No. 1
When these five long-acting painkillers are broken down by two measures — usage and deaths — methadone's heightened risk jumps out. Compare, for example, methadone's 2006 numbers to those of oxycodone, the primary generic ingredient of OxyContin. Methadone's usage was less than a third of oxycodone's, but methadone-associated deaths were three times higher.
Morphine and hydrocodone were also used more than methadone, but with a fraction of the deaths.