Annual Drug Related Deaths in the US – Marijuana Ranks Last … With ZERO

posted by Nima

August 30, 2010 · Posted in Interventionism 

An interesting study on DrugWarFacts.org:

  1. (2000) “The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000 deaths; 16.6%), and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75,000), toxic agents (55,000), motor vehicle crashes (43,000), incidents involving firearms (29,000), sexual behaviors (20,000), and illicit use of drugs (17,000).”

    Correction: According to a correction published by the Journal on January 19, 2005, “On page 1240, in Table 2, ‘400,000 (16.6)’ deaths for ‘poor diet and physical inactivity’ in 2000 should be ‘365,000 (15.2).’ A dagger symbol should be added to ‘alcohol consumption’ in the body of the table and a dagger footnote should be added with ‘in 1990 data, deaths from alcohol-related crashes are included in alcohol consumption deaths, but not in motor vehicle deaths. In 2000 data, 16,653 deaths from alcohol-related crashes are included in both alcohol consumption and motor vehicle death categories.”

    Source: 

    Mokdad, Ali H., PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, “Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000,” Journal of the American Medical Association, (March 10, 2004), G225 Vol. 291, No. 10, p. 1238, 1240.
    http://proxy.baremetal.com/csdp.org/research/1238.pdf
    Source for Correction: Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan. 19, 2005, Vol. 293, No. 3, p. 298.

  2. (2009 – heroin) “More than 60 per cent of drug treatment demand in Asia and Europe relate to opiates that are, especially heroin, the most deadly drugs. Deaths due to overdose are, in any single year, as high as 5,000-8,000 in Europe, and several times this amount in the Russian Federation alone.”

    Source: 

    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Addiction, Crime and Insurgency: The transnational threat of Afghan opium” (Vienna, Austria: October 2009, p. 7.
    http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/Afghanistan/Afghan_Opiu…

  3. (2009 – drug violence in Mexico) “The cross-border flow of money and guns into Mexico from the United States has enabled well-armed and well-funded cartels to engage in violent activities. They employ advanced military tactics and utilize sophisticated weaponry such as sniper rifles, grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and even mortars in attacks on security personnel. DTOs have openly challenged the GOM through conflict and intimidation and have fought amongst themselves to control drug distribution routes. The results led to unprecedented violence and a general sense of insecurity in certain areas of the country, particularly near the U.S. border. Between January and September 2009, there were 5,874 drug-related murders in Mexico, an almost 5 percent increase over 2008 (5,600).”

    Source: 

    United States Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Volume I, Drug and Chemical Control,” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State: March 2010)p. 432.
    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/137411.pdf

  4. (2008 – drug violence in Mexico) “More than 5,600 people died in drug trafficking violence in Mexico in 2008, more than double the prior year. This escalation in the level of violence was matched by a growing ferocity. Beginning in early 2008, there was an increase in assassinations of high-level law enforcement officials, gruesome murders including beheadings, violent kidnappings, use of a growing and varied arsenal of high-powered weapons, and one incidence of indiscriminate killing of civilians.6 The battle for control of the multi-billion dollar drug trade has been—and continues to be—brutal. While the U.S. and Mexican media began to shift their attention away from the sensational crimes allegedly committed by the Mexican DTOs in late spring, the high numbers of killings have continued, exceeding an estimated 2,000 thus far in 2009.”

    Source: 

    Beittel, June S., “Mexico’s Drug-Related Violence,” Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, May 27, 2009), pp. 7-8.
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R40582.pdf

  5. (2006 – alcohol) “In 2006, a total of 22,073 persons died of alcohol-induced causes in the United States (Tables 23 and 24). This category includes not only deaths from dependent and nondependent use of alcohol, but also accidental poisoning by alcohol. It excludes unintentional injuries, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to alcohol use as well as deaths due to fetal alcohol syndrome.”

    Source: 

    Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 14. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009, p, 11.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_14.pdf

  6. (2006 – suicide) The US Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2006, there were a total of 33,300 deaths from suicide in the US.

    Source: 

    Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 14. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009, Table B.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_14.pdf

  7. (2006 – drug induced causes) “In 2006, a total of 38,396 persons died of drug-induced causes in the United States (Tables 21 and 22). This category includes not only deaths from dependent and nondependent use of legal or illegal drugs, but also poisoning from medically prescribed and other drugs. It excludes unintentional injuries, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother’s drug use.”

    Source: 

    Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 14. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009, p, 11.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_14.pdf

  8. (2006 – homicide) “The US Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2006, there were a total of 18,573 deaths from homicide in the US.

    Source: 

    Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 14. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009, Table B.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_14.pdf

  9. (2003 – HIV and race) The Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2003, HIV disease was the 22nd leading cause of death in the US for whites, the 9th leading cause of death for blacks, and the 13th leading cause of death for Hispanics.

    Source: 

    Heron, Melonie P., PhD, Smith, Betty L., BsED, Division of Vital Statistics, “Deaths: Leading Causes for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55, No. 10 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, March 15, 2007), p. 10, Table E, and p. 12, Table F.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr55/nvsr55_10.pdf

  10. (2000 – illicit drug use) “Illicit drug use is associated with suicide, homicide, motor-vehicle injury, HIV infection, pneumonia, violence, mental illness, and hepatitis. An estimated 3 million individuals in the United States have serious drug problems. Several studies have reported an undercount of the number of deaths attributed to drugs by vital statistics; however, improved medical treatments have reduced mortality from many diseases associated with illicit drug use. In keeping with the report by McGinnis and Foege, we included deaths caused indirectly by illicit drug use in this category. We used attributable fractions to compute the number of deaths due to illicit drug use. Overall, we estimate that illicit drug use resulted in approximately 17000 deaths in 2000, a reduction of 3000 deaths from the 1990 report.”

    Source: 

    Mokdad, Ali H., PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, “Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000,” Journal of the American Medical Association, (March 10, 2004), G225 Vol. 291, No. 10, 1242.
    http://proxy.baremetal.com/csdp.org/research/1238.pdf

  11. (1999 – marijuana) “Indeed, epidemiological data indicate that in the general population marijuana use is not associated with increased mortality.”

    Source: 

    Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base,” Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999), p. 109.
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309071550&page=109

  12. (1998 – hospitalization) “Our study revealed that experiencing an ADR [Adverse Drug Reaction] while hospitalized substantially increased the risk of death (1971 excess deaths, OR 1.208, 95% CI 1.184-1.234). This finding reflects about a 20% increase in mortality associated with an ADR in hospitalized patients. Extrapolating this finding to all patients suggests that 2976 Medicare patients/year and 8336 total patients/year die in U.S. hospitals as a direct result of ADRs; this translates to approximately 1.5 patients/hospital/year.”

    Source: 

    C. A. Bond, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP and Cynthia L. Raehl, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP, “Adverse Drug Reactions in United States Hospitals,” Pharmacotherapy, 2006;26(5):601-608.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/531809

  13. (1998 – marijuana)
    “3. The most obvious concern when dealing with drug safety is the possibility of lethal effects. Can the drug cause death?

    “4. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.

    “5. This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death.

    “6. By contrast aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year.

    “7. Drugs used in medicine are routinely given what is called an LD-50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced toxicity. A number of researchers have attempted to determine marijuana’s LD-50 rating in test animals, without success. Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death.

    “8. At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.

    “9. In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity.”

    Source: 

    US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, “In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition” (Docket #86-22), September 6, 1988, p. 56-57.
    http://druglibrary.net/olsen/MEDICAL/YOUNG/young4.html

  14. (1998 – adverse drug reactions) “Adverse drug reactions are a significant public health problem in our health care system. For the 12,261,737 Medicare patients admitted to U.S. hospitals, ADRs were projected to cause the following increases: 2976 deaths, 118,200 patient-days, $516,034,829 in total charges, $37,611,868 in drug charges, and $9,456,698 in laboratory charges. If all Medicare patients were considered, these figures would be 3 times greater.”

    Source: 

    C. A. Bond, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP, and Cynthia L. Raehl, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP, Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas, “Adverse Drug Reactions in United States Hospitals” Pharmacotherapy, 2006;26(5):601-608.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/531809

  15. (1996 – NSAIDS) “Each year, use of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) accounts for an estimated 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations in the United States.” (NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, ketoprofen, and tiaprofenic acid.)

    Source: 

    Robyn Tamblyn, PhD; Laeora Berkson, MD, MHPE, FRCPC; W. Dale Jauphinee, MD, FRCPC; David Gayton, MD, PhD, FRCPC; Roland Grad, MD, MSc; Allen Huang, MD, FRCPC; Lisa Isaac, PhD; Peter McLeod, MD, FRCPC; and Linda Snell, MD, MHPE, FRCPC, “Unnecessary Prescribing of NSAIDs and the Management of NSAID-Related Gastropathy in Medical Practice,” Annals of Internal Medicine (Washington, DC: American College of Physicians, 1997), September 15, 1997, 127:429-438.
    http://www.annals.org/content/127/6/429.full.pdf
    Citing: Fries, JF, “Assessing and understanding patient risk,” Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology Supplement, 1992;92:21-4.

… just in case people were wondering if there was any point in the US government’s war on drugs :)

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Comments

2 Responses to “Annual Drug Related Deaths in the US – Marijuana Ranks Last … With ZERO”

  1. Let’s Legalize. | mattsbuds on April 26th, 2011 3:31 pm

    [...] a look at the breakdown of deaths due to drugs and other incidents such as homicide and see where Marijuana comes [...]

  2. nima on November 1st, 2011 10:33 pm

    Marijuana is not a lethal drug …

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