Top 10 deadliest drugs in U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, the number of fatal drug-related overdoses rose from 47,523 in January 2015 to 67,029 in February 2019 which indicated a 41 percent increase. Even the death toll due to drug overdoses has been on a rise reaching unprecedented numbers. Deaths due to drug-induced overdoses has in fact been identified as one of the top ten causes of mortality in the U.S.
Because it is difficult to record deaths related to specific types of drugs on the basis of general classifications, experts from the CDC have accumulated the above-mentioned data on the basis of texts from death certificates collected from 2015 to 2019. The experts also mentioned that the minimum value was considered for some figures of a particular drug category as the death certificates did not mention the drug as the cause of the death. However, out of the 10 deadliest drugs, 6 have been identified as opioids.
Even though most overdoses often involve multiple drugs, on the basis of the above-mentioned CDC data, the following drugs have been identified as the top 10 deadliest drugs in the U.S.
- Diazepam: It is a prescription drug used to treat seizures, anxiety, alcohol addiction, and muscle cramps, amongst other conditions. It belongs to the benzodiazepines class of drugs and is sold under the brand name Valium.
- Methadone: A prescription drug often used to treat severe pain; methadone has been associated with nearly 5 percent of overdose related deaths in 2016. What makes it even more dangerous is the fact that it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for reducing cravings and easing withdrawal symptoms during addiction treatment.
- Hydrocodone: It is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from codeine, which itself is synthesized from the opium poppy. It is a prescription painkiller that is commonly sold under various brand names such as Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab.
- Oxycodone: It is an opiate based painkiller prescribed for severe chronic pain. It is manufactured from thebaine, derived from the poppy plant. It has been classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) due to is high abuse potential and dependency. It is sold under the brand names OxyContin, Roxicodone, and Oxaydo.
- Morphine: It is one of the most potent analgesic used to treat chronic pain. Morphine use is allowed only under medical supervision due to its high abuse potential, severe withdrawal symptoms, and high level of tolerance after prolonged use. Morphine overdoses are often misidentified as heroin overdoses due to its similarities.
- Alprazolam: Another prescription drug from the benzodiazepine class, alprazolam is used to treat panic attacks and anxiety. The high usage of this drug is due to its ability to mix with other drugs such as fentanyl and heroin. It is most commonly sold under the brand name Xanax.
- Methamphetamine: Meth, as it is popularly known, is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths in the U.S. with the number of cases increasing by nearly 4 times from 2011 to 2017. It is a highly powerful and addictive stimulant which directly affects the central nervous system of a human body.
- Cocaine: Extracted from Erythroxylum cocoa plant, cocaine has no medical use. However, as a recreational drug, it is either snorted, injected, or smoked. Cocaine abuse leads to hallucinations, increased mental alertness, hypersensitivity, restlessness, increased palpitations, and diaphoresis. It has always been amongst the top 3 deadliest drugs in the U.S since the past decade or so.
- Heroin: It is one of the deadliest opioids and until recently the most common cause of deaths related to drug overdoses. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, there were approximately 808,000 users of heroin in the U.S. above the age of 12 years in the past year. Heroin can be sniffed, snorted, smoked, or injected. Unfortunately, it has claimed the maximum number of victims in drug overdose-related deaths.
- Fentanyl: Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid originally developed to treat excruciating pain arising from cancer. Considered to be nearly 100 times stronger than morphine, it provides instant relief from pain. It is often mixed with other drugs like heroin, cocaine, or alcohol to increase its potency. According to the 2018 NSDUH report, nearly 269,000 people have misused prescription fentanyl. It has been reported as the main cause of thousands of overdoses every year in the U.S.
Seeking treatment for drug addiction
A comprehensive drug addiction treatment program involves a combination of detoxification process along with therapy and counseling sessions. While detox helps in flushing out the toxins from the body, therapy helps the patient learn various coping mechanisms to deal with daily life issues without being dependent on drugs
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction and is looking for drug detox treatment centers in California, then Hillside Mission can help. An inpatient detox treatment clinic can be a sure-shot way to jumpstart your journey to sobriety. For more information about our evidence-based detox program, call our 24/7 helpline (866)-225-6101 and speak to a member from our admissions team. You can also chat online to a representative to get more information about our inpatient rapid detox programs.