Did you know that in the past 20 years, over 700,000 people in the US have died from a drug overdose? In 2017 alone, over 70,000 people died from an overdose. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the US.
The most popular drugs have changed over time, but drug use has remained steady. If you want to learn more about the most dangerous drugs in our society, read on.
Many of these drugs are prescription drugs, which are safe when used properly and under the care of a doctor, but problems arise when they are abused, used improperly, or used in conjunction with other drugs and/or alcohol.
Benzos are prescription medications that are used to control anxiety. Benzos include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, among others. In 2017, benzos were involved in over 30% of overdose deaths and they are particularly deadly when combined with other drugs, such as opioids, alcohol, and barbiturates.
Opioids are typically prescribed to manage pain and include drugs like Percocet, Vicodin, and OxyContin. They are highly addictive and for many years, were overprescribed by doctors, even though the high risk of abuse was well known. Many people who were prescribed opioids legitimately become addicted and then when they can no longer get prescriptions, turn to illegal means to get them (or turn to heroin, which mimics the effects of opioids).
Like benzos, when opioids are mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine, as well as alcohol, the risk of overdose greatly increases. Opioids are the most common drugs that lead to overdoses.
Heroin is a street drug that is made from morphine and it’s seen an influx of new users over the past 5 years. Most of these new users turn to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to get than opioids.
Heroin is either injected or snorted and can cause severe issues, such as collapsed veins, damaged nasal tissue, infections of the heart lining, lung issues, kidney diseases, and gastrointestinal issues, in addition to the risk of overdose.
Drug and alcohol rehab statistics indicate that more than a quarter of all opioid-related deaths in California involved heroin.
Cocaine is another recreational drug that has been used extensively throughout US history. It is a stimulant that allows users to stay awake for days and also acts as an appetite suppressant. Many cocaine overdose deaths involve the use of some other drug, including opioids and alcohol.
Last on our list is alcohol. While legal, alcohol can prove deadly when it is consumed in excess and combined with both legal and illegal drugs. Long-term alcohol use can cause diseases like cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease, and fetal damage when consumed while a woman is pregnant.
Alcohol can also be deadly when combined with many of the drugs on this list, particularly those that act as stimulants. Alcohol is also highly related to suicide, violence, and motor vehicle accidents.
5 of the Most Dangerous Drugs to Avoid
These 5 drugs are among the most dangerous drugs out there. Knowing the dangers associated with these drugs, and their improper use is necessary to combat drug use and overdose deaths in the US.
If you found this information useful, be sure to explore our other blog posts.