11/16/2012 04:37 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2012

Death By Prescription: The Danger of Overprescribing Opioids (VIDEO)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 15,000 Americans die annually from overdosing on prescription painkillers, known as opioids. The number of prescriptions written has risen four-fold, with pharmacies dispensing more than 9 billion dollars in opioids last year. As prescription overdoses kill more people than heroin and cocaine, do we need to more closely scrutinize prescribing practices?

On a segment for HuffPost Live, host Marc Lamont Hill was joined by Cindy Harney, who shared the story of her son who died from a prescription drug overdose at the age of twenty.

“We need some sort of control,” she said. “I don’t know what doctors learn in medical school, but something more needs to happen.”

Harney was joined by Andrew Kolodny, President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, Bridget Brennan, New York City's Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Kevin Sabet, a former Obama administration drug policy adviser and Mia Calvo, a student who was once on many prescription medications.

Watch the full segment on HuffPost Live.