Top 10 Drugs Responsible For Overdose Deaths, According to CDC
A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks the drugs responsible for the most overdose fatalities in the U.S. as of 2014. The number of overdose deaths surpassed 47,000 that year, and have since increased to more than 52,000 in 2015.
Of little surprise, heroin and prescription opioids combined were responsible for the most deaths (nearly two-thirds) but benzodiazepines such as Xanax were also often present. There was a slight increase in opioid-related deaths in 2015, rising 2% to 63%, but as of yet the CDC doesn’t have a breakdown on deaths by drug categories.
Top 10 Drugs Responsible For Overdoses in the U.S., 2014
1. Heroin – 10,863
2. Cocaine – 5,856
3. Oxydocone (OxyContin) – 5,435
4. Alprazoloam (Xanax) – 4,217
5. Fentanyl – 4,200
6. Morphine – 4,022
7. Methamphetamine – 3,727
8. Methadone – 3,3895
9. Hydrocodone (Norco) – 3,274
10. Diazepam (Valium) – 1,279
The report from the CDC did not include, however, deaths by alcohol poisoning. These numbered around 2,200, and would have put alcohol as a substance at #10.
According to the CDC, since 1999, drug overdose deaths have quadrupled. Between 2010-2014, heroin deaths more than tripled, and deaths related to fentanyl doubled. The latter is particularly disturbing, but of little surprise – fentanyl is a prescription opioid, 100 times stronger than heroin, and also the drug that killed the artist Prince back in April of this year.
In addition, meth-related deaths nearly tripled, and cocaine-related deaths increased by 25%.
CDC director Tom Frieden:
“The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming. The opioid epidemic is devastating American families and communities. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders.”
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology