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Drugs That Killed 50,000 Americans; Cases of Overdose Going Out Of Control

Update Date: Jan 09, 2017 09:20 AM EST
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1.9 million people were reported to have abused the opioid pain medication. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The top ten killer drugs that are listed on death certificates of those who died due to drug overdose have been the same since 2010, but the order has changed over the years. Heroin is already the top overdose killer of Americans, while deaths related to fentanyl has already doubled.

Drug overdose reportedly killed 50,000 Americans last year, according to a report by NBC. Margaret Warner of National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) are looking into data from 2010 to 2014 to pinpoint which drugs are mostly abused that have led to death.

In their report, Warner wrote that overdose of heroin drug has tripled from 3,020 to 10,863, while methamphetamine has already doubled.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) have issued guidelines on usage to limit prescriptions of the killer drugs. The former has also issued a warning on combining anxiety drugs with opioids.

In 2013, 1.9 million people were reported to have abused the opioid pain medication. The following year, more than 47,000 Americans have died from drug overdose. Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director for John Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness said that health officials and other leaders should focus on the growing addiction and drug abuse problem.

Other drugs mentioned on death certificates were other forms of opioids, stimulants and benzodiazepines which are used to treat anxiety or insomnia. ABC News reported the ten most abused drugs that led to mortality in this order: heroin, oxycodone, methadone, morphine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium).

Patients become addicted to prescribed painkillers at first but when it becomes too expensive, they go to the streets for cheaper variants. In the last few years, the United States was reported to have seen an influx of illegal Chinese supplies of drugs.

In Ontario, fentanyl is the leading cause of opioid death, while hydromorphone (Dilaudid) comes in second. The latter is used to treat moderate to severe pain and is considered extremely addictive. 

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