Did you know that drug overdoses currently rank as the leading cause of death for American citizens under the age of 50? According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 63,000 U.S. residents died from drug-related overdoses in 2016 alone. Even worse, the CDC confirmed rate of 72,000 deaths in 2017 (about a 7% increase from 2016 and a 3.1-fold boost from the number of victims in 2002). So, which drugs are causing the most harm? Which ones are responsible for triggering the highest number of overdoses in the United States? Let’s take a closer look and find out some more information.

The Big Five

According to records from the CDC, the following drugs most commonly cause overdoses:

  1. Fentanyl: According to reports, fentanyl (including analogs like carfentanil) triggered an estimated 19,413 deaths in 2016. About 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, this drug is commonly cut with heroin to make a cheaper product.
  2. Prescription Opioids: These dangerous drugs (notably Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet) triggered 19,345 overdose-related deaths in 2016, preceded by a 1.9-fold boost of fatalities from 2002 to 2011.
  3. Heroin: In 2016, heroin triggered an estimated 15,469 deaths. During opioid use, addicts may turn to heroin after their medications no longer produce the same effects (with some reports confirming that 80% of heroin addicts once used opioids).
  4. Cocaine: From 2015 to 2016, the number of cocaine-related overdose deaths boosted from 6,784 to 10,375. Even more disturbing, in 2016, 7,263 deaths were triggered by a mixture of cocaine and opioid painkillers.
  5. Methamphetamine: In 2016, 7,542 people died from meth-related overdoses, which can typically involve other drugs. For example, in 2016, opioid/meth combos triggered 3,416 deaths, and synthetic narcotic additives resulted in 1,042 fatalities.

Runners Up

Before we close up the list, here are two honorable mentions:

  • Benzodiazepines: In 2016, 10,684 people died from benzodiazepine-related overdoses (an 8-fold increase from 2002).
  • Antidepressants: In 2016, 4,812 people died from overdosing on antidepressants.

Seeking Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse or Addiction

Addiction recovery will never be an easy road to travel, especially for people who have formed a seemingly unbreakable bond with dangerous substances. In the midst of a drug crisis, more people are falling victim to the degenerative, chronic illness called addiction, meaning that more people will require the help they more than deserve. The good news is, each and every one of them can easily overcome this terrible health issue, with a little bit of patience and perseverance.

If you are suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or addiction or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you overcome your attachment to dangerous drugs.

If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.


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