The DEA released new drug overdose data yesterday. According to the DEA press release:
DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg today announced results from the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), which found that drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms. In 2013, more than 46,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose and more than half of those were caused by prescription painkillers and heroin.
These are 2013 numbers, so let’s compare to other causes of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A drug overdose, with a death rate of 13.9 per 100,000, is almost four times as common as a cause of death than gun homicides (3.6 per 100,000). Death from prescription drugs (7.2 per 100,000) is twice as common as gun homicides.
Those are the total numbers. If you prefer your stats in the often used format of x per 100,000, here you go:
Obviously, homicides aren’t exactly a leading cause of death in the US, and gun homicides, even less so. Accidental death by firearms (0.2 per 100,000) is a small blip.