What Kind of Drugs Kill the Most People?

Illustration for article titled What Kind of Drugs Kill the Most People?

Don't do drugs, people. But if you do do them, don't overdose on 'em. But if you do overdose on 'em, make sure the drugs you're doing are weed, LSD, opium and mushrooms and not pharmaceutical pills. That's because pharmaceuticals kill more people in America than any other type of drug. What?


Popular Science compiled data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's WONDER database and made the chart above. That gigantic green region? That's all the deaths related to ODing on pharamaceuticals. That barely visible grey line (it's the thin topping on the chart)? All "other" drugs like marijuana, LSD, opium, mescaline and mushrooms. Hell, it's harder to OD on coke or heroin or drinking than it is to die from pharmaceuticals. Three quarter of the pharmaceutical deaths were from opioid analgesics (think Vicodin or OxyContin).

The data tracks the cause of death listed on the death certificate. In 2010, 80,000 Americans died because of drug and alcohol overdose. Maybe don't do drugs should be don't pop pills (of course more of the general population take pharmaceuticals than do heroin and whatever). [PopSci]



Why is marijuana even included on the chart? You CAN'T die from it.