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Drugs & Health Blog

Drug Overdoses Kill More Than Cars, Guns, and Falling—UPDATE

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
The NIDA Blog Team

In June, we shared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that tens of thousands died from drug use in 2010.  In 2011, the number of drug overdose deaths continued to rise.

To compare the data from 2010 to 2011, view the original post. You’ll see that in just one year there has been an increase of over 3,000 deaths—nearly 8 percent—between 2010 and 2011. More than half of those overdose deaths (55 percent) are related to prescription drug abuse, and of those, 74 percent (16,917) were due to opioids (prescription pain medications).

Infographic depicting the following: 28,360 falling deaths, 32,351 gun-related deaths, 33,692 traffic accident deaths, and 41,340 drug overdose deaths.  16,917 drug overdose deaths are from opioid pain medication. Source: CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Guns are bad if you dont know haw to use it.
Or if you use it to kill, just because you know how to use a gun properly that doesn't mean you won't kill someone.
guns rant bad its what u do with them.
this is dumb
....why is it that Dr's make it so easy to get pain meds?are they really the drug dealers..and why are there only two countrys in the world that allow drug advertising on TV? the rest of the world it's illegal....oh ,that other country is New Zealand....
One, advertising is so the company can sell their product to make a profit. Second, its actually really hard to get prescription pain killers now, you have to have a doctors signature, and a statement from your insurance.
save for me
People make their own choices, but we can influence their decisions.
Deaths by gun...hmm. Okay. Are those 'intentional' or 'unintentional' deaths? Do those figures include suicide? Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Now you want to IMPLY homicides by gun deaths? Then use homicide values as those are readily available.
People kill people WITH GUNS!
People kill people with guns, knives, clubs, etc.
They are including both, they are saying guns as a whole are bad.
Prescription drug abuse is now considered an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, not everyone who takes prescription drugs plan on becoming addicts. Most people start abusing their medications after legitimately receiving a prescription from a doctor, usually after being injured in a sport or auto accident or having surgery. People usually start abusing the medication to relieve the pain, or to relive the feeling they get while on the drug. According to the CDC's website there are prescription drug laws that require a "physical examination" before prescribing controlled substances. It does not specify what is required for the physical examination, making this law appear to be pretty open to interpretation. In my opinion, this also makes it easier for people to receive prescriptions for controlled substances. Stricter prescription drug laws need to be implemented to prevent further drug abuse and drug overdoses.
The physical examination determines whether you need it for an injury, and yes some people use the drugs for its intended use but there has been cases where people has needed to take drugs for injuries etc, and has taken them for so long they get addicted by accident.
Cannabis should be legal to allow individuals and individual companies a pathway to SAFE alternatives. Cannabis cannot produce a lethal overdose.
Actually Cannabis can still cause lung cancer, and if someone hallucinates then goes out driving, maybe have a weapon, they could hurt or even kill somebody.
Can helium kill you if you take in too much?

Yes, taking in too much helium can deprive the body of oxygen which can lead to death. Some people think it’s funny to try to talk after inhaling helium from a balloon, but you are actually inhaling a potentially dangerous gas.