The world is a dangerous place. From car crashes to ebola to kids getting shot at in their own schools. And even if you survive all that a sneaky little aneurism could take your life at any moment. Suffice it to say life is precious, especially when there are so many things out there that can end it. Yet of all the dangers, one of the most prominent and lethal is drug and alcohol addiction.
If you combine the statistics from all narcotics across the U.S., it is estimated that approximately 41,000 people die every year from drug overdoses. That means that every hour 5 people die from a drug overdose in one country alone. This disturbing statistic does not even take into consideration all of the people who survive overdoses and are left with permanent brain damage or who die from drug or alcohol related DUIs and even suicide. In truth, the exact number of people who have lost their life to drugs is difficult to calculate.
So the question remains, with so many drug overdoses and the tremendous amount of loss of life that could have been prevented, which drug is truly the most dangerous. Some people might argue opiates as the most lethal drug on the market, especially heroin. Not only is heroin incredibly cheap and highly addictive but it also accounts for the majority of drug overdoses in Europe and the United States. The drug is also quickly gaining popularity with a younger generation.
Another probable contender might be alcohol. People tend to think about alcohol as less dangerous than other drugs. And it’s exactly this lack of social stigmatization that makes alcohol so dangerous. Overdosing on alcohol is actually much more common than any other type of drug overdose, with over 50,000 happening in the U.S. in 2011. Tens of millions of Americans drink alcohol every day and even though drinking in moderation can be fine, far too many people are blurring the line between enough and too many. It’s been estimated that in 2009 at least 30 million people drove under the influence of alcohol. And since alcohol has been around for so much longer than any other man-made drug like heroin or methamphetamine, it should be obvious to say that alcohol has killed more people.
But we can argue the statistics of which drug has left the longest trail of destruction all day. To really answer which drug is the most lethal, every person who asks the question must find out for themselves. Most of us had a specific favorite when we were using. But if not then the simplest answer is the most dangerous drug is the one you’re doing next. Because it could be the one that kills you.