70 million Americans admit to the regular use of mind-altering drugs. 100 people overdose every single day, leading to an estimated 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone. The biggest increases among these deaths occurred with fentanyl and synthetic opioids, which caused 20,000 of the fatalities.
Drug abuse includes not just illegal but legal substances and recovery from addiction must start with the individual. Here are 10 of the most dangerous drugs in America, and some facts about their dangers:
1. Opioid Painkillers
Opioids are powerful painkillers which are prone to abuse because of their effects. Almost half of the victims of fatal Opioid overdoses involve an Opioid that was obtained with a legal prescription, and in 2015, the CDC says that Opioids killed over 33,000 people in the United States. It is such a serious problem that the CDC calls it an epidemic and is stepping up efforts to prevent these deaths.
Heroin is illegal and highly addictive. It can lead to many serious health problems like overdose, death, like Hepatitis B or C and HIV. It is even more dangerous because it is often used with other drugs, such as alcohol. The number of deaths from Heroin overdoses quadrupled between 2000 and 2015, as overall Heroin use has increased. Many Americans became addicted to heroin due to the increase in prescription opioids Americans take.
A very strong Opioid pain reliever, Fentanyl is often used for cancer patients. It can be 100 times as strong as Morphine, and when sold illegally, is often mixed with other drugs to increase the feelings of ecstasy. States have been trying to curb the rate of Fentanyl overdoses, which has risen sharply in recent years, by seizing illegal shipments of Fentanyl.
There were almost twice as many Cocaine deaths from 2002 to 2015, with over 10,000 in 206. That makes it one of the biggest killers in the United States. Many of those deaths include deaths where Opioids were also used.
Used safe to treat drug addiction for many years, Methadone is now being used as a painkiller and has become a subject of substance abuse. Nearly 1 out of every 3 prescription painkiller fatal overdoses involved Methadone in 2009, with more than 6 times the number of people dying from an overdose than a decade before.
Even though it is legal, alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs, leading to “88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost” every year between 2006 and 2010. Estimated economic costs were $249 billion in 2010. When defining excessive drinking, factors such as sex and weight need to be taken into account, but those with an alcohol problem will usually see every area of their lives affected by the drug.
A popular opioid prescription painkiller, Oxycodone, also known as OxyContin, is prone to abuse. Almost 2 million Americans were addicted to prescription painkillers in 2014, and over 1,000 receive emergency room care for abusing these prescriptions.
Used by vets to treat animals, Ketamine is one of a group of dissociative drugs which help the user feel detached from reality. Meant to be hallucinogenic, these kinds of drugs can cause problems ranging from memory loss to ulcers to increased risk of infections like Hepatitis and HIV.
Benzodiazepines are sedatives often used to treat insomnia, anxiety and other related conditions. There are five times more overdoses due to “Benzo” than a decade ago.
Another legal drug available without a prescription, tobacco is one of the deadliest drugs. 1 out of 5 deaths every year can be attributed to cigarette smoking, and it is the leading preventable cause of death. Life expectancy is 10 years shorter, but smokers can drastically help their odds by quitting before the age of 40.
If you or a loved one are suffering from the effects of drug addiction, help is available. Call United Recovery Project, a full-service inpatient drug treatment center in South Florida, to speak to one of our caring representatives today at 1-888-699-9395. We understand your pain and want to help.