For the causes of deaths in the United States, drug overdose happens to be one of the few that has generated a sharp spike in modern history. Even though the government doesn’t really monitor the death rates for each drug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as, the National Center for Health Statistics gather data on most of the commonly used drugs.
Deaths Caused by All Drugs
The total number of deaths caused by all drugs experienced a 2.2 fold hike from 2002 until 2015. The females who overdosed increased from around 9,000 in 2002 to about 15,000 in 2015. Meanwhile, overdosed males who died were 15,000 in 2002 before it increased to 25,000 in 2015.
Deaths Caused by Prescribed Opioid Pain Relievers
From 2002 to 2011, the total deaths caused by opioid pain relievers went through a 1.9 fold surge, but it has remained quite stable until 2015. Keep in mind that this tally doesn’t include non-methadone synthetics. It is a group ruled by illegal fentanyl, and has been omitted to more precisely reveal the deaths caused by prescription opioids.
Deaths Caused by Heroin
Moreover, heroin caused nearly 2,000 deaths in 2002 and it spiked to over 13,000 in 2015. This was the reason for the 6.2 fold rise in the overall number of deaths. The men who died were twice as much as the women who overdosed with the drug. The male deaths began with only 2,000 in 2002 to a whopping 9,000 in 2015. Meanwhile, overdosed women were only a couple of hundred in 2002 to 2,000 in 2015.
Surely, the numbers above indicate a need to address the addiction issue. Hopefully the actions taken by the government agencies and non-government organizations reduce the tally in the future.