In 2017, over 70,000 people died from a drug overdose. But the scary part is the CDC doesn’t collect data for all drugs, only the most commonly used drugs.
So that number could be much higher.
And last year, over 28,000 people died from overdosing on just one drug.
Why is fentanyl so deadly, and what are some of the other most dangerous drugs? Keep reading to find out!
Of the 70,000 overdoses, nearly 40% of those deaths were from Fentanyl. Why? Well, a lot of reasons.
First off, fentanyl is lethally potent. Imagine a penny. Now put fentanyl on Lincoln’s eye. That’s enough to kill an elephant.
Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than heroin. This creates another problem. A lot of people who die due to fentanyl think they’re using heroin.
Most heroin comes up to the U.S. through Mexico. The major cartels get their fentanyl from Asia. The cartels dilute their heroin with other additives and mixtures. Then they add a dash of fentanyl to up its potency.
But when they get these ratios wrong, people die en masse. ABC News reported on a community in Pittsburgh. 15 people died over five days from a bad batch of fentanyl-laced heroin.
And what’s worse? Doctors can legally prescribe fentanyl, and major pharmaceutical companies are pushing this!
I could go on, but I think Hassan does a better job in this episode of Patriot Act.
Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl. As a result, it’s pretty much exclusive to large animal use, like elephants.
But that hasn’t stopped it from getting into the hands of cartels. As with fentanyl, dealers are cutting their heroin with carfentanil. This makes heroin seem stronger. And people are dying as a result.
So the danger isn’t the drug itself. Who in their right mind would shoot up a painkiller for elephants? The danger is people don’t know they’re taking it.
The good thing is carfentanil is (supposed to be) exclusive for large animals. It isn’t FDA approved for humans.
But Dsuvia is.
In November of 2018, the FDA approved a drug called Dsuvia. It’s supposed to be used for extreme pain. And even the FDA says it can’t be used more than three days consecutively.
But Dsuvia is ten times stronger than fentanyl! Skeptics worry that a drug that was once prescribed only by doctors will find it’s way onto the street. After all, that’s what happened with Oxycotton and fentanyl.
And if history repeats itself, they’re probably right.
Consider this comment from Dr. Raeford Brown. Dr. Brown is the chair of the FDA advisory committee on analgesics and anesthetic drug products.
He said, “We know from looking at other potent opioids that have been put on the market in the last four years that once these drugs get past the FDA, there’s very little, if any, control over them, no matter what the sponsor says prior to the time they come on the market.”
And that’s terrifying.
4. Prescription Drugs
Prescription drug abuse is on the rise. In 2017, it’s estimated 18 million people misused or abused prescription drugs.
18 million people!
And a lot of this abuse comes from young adults. Misuse is highest among young adults. 14.4% reported non-medical use in the past year.
Young adults tend to believe that since a doctor prescribed the drug, it must be safe. However, that’s not the case. And many people who misuse prescription drugs go on to develop stronger addictions.
For example, 80% of heroin users started by abusing their prescription pain killers. They turned to heroin because it was cheaper and in many cases easier to get.
Part of the cause behind prescription drug abuse is how easy it is to obtain. Most often, abusers get their drugs from the medicine cabinets from friends or family.
Painkillers are the most abused prescription drug. But stimulants and sedatives aren’t far behind.
If you know anyone with an addiction issue, consider encouraging them to join an outpatient drug rehab program.
Alcohol’s legal right? So how did it end up on this list?
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs because, like caffeine, it’s a societal norm. If you don’t drink, it can affect your social life, for friends group, and your weekend hobbies.
As Ruby Warrington puts it in her book Sober Curious, we all might be just a little bit addicted.
But that doesn’t make it safe. Alcohol is highly addictive. And it’s one of the drugs that’s hardest to maintain sobriety. It’s so widely available and there are so many ingrained social cues.
But get this. An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually. More people die from alcohol-related causes than all other overdoses combined! Even fentanyl!
And in 2014, nearly 10,000 people died in alcohol-related vehicle crashes. They contribute to 31% of all driving fatalities.
Alcohol-related deaths are the third deadliest of the lifestyle caused deaths. They’re only behind smoking and poor diet and physical inactivity.
So with so many people dying every year, it may be time to reconsider alcohol as a societal norm.
The Most Dangerous Drugs Are the Ones You Don’t Suspect
Part of what makes these some of the most dangerous drugs is you don’t suspect them. We either think these drugs are safe, like prescription drugs, or alcohol. Or we don’t know they’re there.
These drugs have a high abuse rate. And they’re highly addictive, even if the marketing says otherwise.
All drugs have risks and side effects. Even if you think a drug is safe or pure, it could be deadly.
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