U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says prescription drug abuse in America is at epidemic proportions and taming it will take more than law enforcement.

At a Friday conference in Montpelier, Vt., Holder said the U.S. has seen a 400 percent increase from 1998 to 2008 in treatment admissions for people abusing prescription painkillers. Also, he said, new research shows that the number of people trying them for non-medical purposes now exceeds the number of people smoking marijuana for the first time.

To reduce abuse, he said, will require a comprehensive approach of sound regulatory policies, educational outreach, and prevention and drug treatment programs.