Drugs are one of the single greatest medical innovations, saving countless lives each year. However, for all the lives drugs save, they are also responsible for causing death as well, through both accidental and purposeful injuries. Recent reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show a 23 percent increase in the number of people dying from drug overdoses in the U.S from 2010 to 2014. Here are the top 10 drugs responsible for these deaths. According to Time, for 2014, the top 10 drugs involved in lethal overdoses were:
The CDC report that heroin use has increased across the U.S. among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels, and is the number one drug responsible for instances of lethal overdoses. During a heroin overdose, a person’s system can shut down, leading to lethal respiratory depression and slowed or stopped heartbeat. What’s more, it’s possible to overdose on heroin after only your first time using the drug — or the first time you relapse after weaning off it.
Though a popular party drug, cocaine is the second most popular drug involved in lethal overdoses. People who use cocaine often take it repeatedly within a short time, at increasingly higher doses in an effort to maintain their high. A cocaine overdose affects the heart, drastically and often dangerously increasing heart rate and blood pressure.