Americans More Likely to Die from a Drug Overdose Than a Car Crash or Gunshot

You’re more likely to die from a drug overdose than from a car crash or a gunshot, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). DEA officials released the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) in a press release on November 4, outlining the prevalence of drug overdose in America. “Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms,” the DEA announced.

The most recent data from 2013 states that 46,471 Americans died from drug overdose. More than half of those deaths were associated with prescription pain pills and heroin.

The death rate associated with drug overdose is higher than some of America’s more scrutinized injury-related deaths. Drug overdoses caused 10,000 more fatalities than car accidents and firearms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“Sadly this report confirms what we’ve known for some time: drug abuse is ending too many lives too soon and destroying families and communities,” Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in the DEA press release. “We must reach young people at an even earlier age and teach them about its many dangers and horrors.”

medicinePrescription drug use is running rampant in America. The overpresciption of drugs is causing addiction. The DEA’s press release noted, “Since 2002, prescription drug deaths have outpaced those of cocaine and heroin combined. Abuse of controlled prescription drugs is higher than that of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, MDMA, and PCP combined.” Furthermore, an addiction to pain pills can cause a person to turn to cheaper street drugs once their prescription ends or is discontinued.

A study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that prescription drug use in the United States has increased from 51 percent in 1999–2000 to 59 percent in 2011–2012. The study also noted that polypharmacy (the use of several drugs concurrently) was up in all age groups of the study. This recent research, coupled with the DEA’s new findings on prescription drug abuse, is cause for concern. Many Americans, who have never used recreational drugs in their lives, often become addicted to pain medication prescribed by their doctors. It is becoming an all-too-common trend. 

There are several alternative therapies you can turn to in lieu of relying on pharmaceuticals. Acupuncture, meditation, yoga and aromatherapy are all exceptional, natural alternatives to pill-popping. A study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (1999) examines the role of aromatherapy for chronic pain intervention. The study states, “Evidence suggests that aromatherapy might be used as a complementary therapy for managing chronic pain.”

The essential oils for chronic pain and inflammation include wintergreen, spruce, lavender, marjoram, sandalwood, ginger, fennel and clove, among other essential oils. You can mix a few drops of essential oil with one or two teaspoons of a base oil, like sweet almond oil or grape seed oil, and massage problem areas.

What are the alternative, natural methods you use to treat pain and inflammation?

 —Stephen Seifert

Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.



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