Top 3 Deadliest Drugs

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Top 3 Deadliest Drugs

Savanna Rose Bautista, Staff Writer

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The Chemist is stuffed within their body suit and gear. Their brow sweats inside the layered suit but is dismissed. The scientist continues to tend the importance of the illegal craft, which must be cared for time, patience, and ingredients. Rubber latex gloves balance the filled flask over the bunsen burner. This eye-catching image reflects onto the offender’s google’s; hungry eyes watch patiently over the bubbling compound. Then an unanticipated disturbance breaks the setting atmosphere. Men in matching uniforms stand in the doorway of the evildoer’s lab with raised weapons. Chest drumming, the chemist’s hands drop the substance with a loud ping. The unknown suspects arms raise alarmed of their situation.

With estimates of $100 billion to $110 billion for heroin, $110 billion to $130 billion for cocaine, $75 billion for cannabis and $60 billion for synthetic drugs, the probable global figure for the total illicit drug industry would be approximately $360 billion. About 570,000 people die annually in the U.S. due to drug use. That breaks down to more than 480,000 deaths related to tobacco, about 31,000 due to alcohol, nearly 22,000 due to overdose from illicit (illegal) drugs, and close to 23,000 due to overdose from prescription pain relievers. Unfortunately, the top 3 deadliest drugs in America are actually legal.

According to a study on smoking and tobacco use conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking causes about one of every five deaths in the United States each year. In addition, the CDC ascertains that cigarette smoking is estimated to cause the following: More than 480,000 deaths annually, 278,544 deaths annually among men and 201,773 deaths annually among women. All including deaths from secondhand smoking.

No matter how this dark picture is looked upon the statistics are astounding – especially when considering tobacco’s staggering death toll. Many wonders that if tobacco is the number one deadliest drug in America why don’t lawmakers and the federal government formulate the policy that prohibits Tobacco use and sale across the country.

National Vital Statistics Report for mortality rate due to alcohol abuse cites the following statistics: In 2013, a total of 29,001 persons died of alcohol-induced causes in the United States. This category includes deaths from the dependent and nondependent use of alcohol, as well as deaths from accidental poisoning of alcohol. Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death. It accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010 and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the alcohol also impacts the sustainability of families as well as the economy of the nation. The cost of excessive alcohol use in the United States reached $249 billion in 2010 or about $2.05 per drink. Meanwhile, during the same year the beer, wine and liquor lobby spent $24,899,124.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drugs actually kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined. Two of the deadliest prescription painkillers in America have reached epic proportions when it comes to their adoption and use. The U.S. consumes 99% of the world’s hydrocodone and over 80% of the world’s oxycodone. As for the pharmaceuticals/health products industry, the annual dollar amount spent on lobbying for the year 2015 was $238,086,761.

Contrary to popular belief, most of the drugs used now are not what people call ‘street drugs’. In fact, most of the drugs that fall under the category of prescription painkillers are procured from neighborhood pharmacies.  

As America debates drug policy reforms and marijuana legalization, there’s one aspect of the war on drugs that remains perplexingly contradictory: Some of the most dangerous drugs in the US are legal. Tobacco, alcohol, and opioids kill hundreds of thousands annually. Marijuana, meanwhile, has caused zero overdose deaths.




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