Annual causes of death in U.S.
When we think of causes of death, we usually think of heart disease or cancer. But there’s another way to look at causes: in terms of the external factors that contribute to death. That heart attack, for example, might have resulted from obesity. That liver cancer might have been caused by alcoholism. The drug use education site drugwarfacts.org has gathered the following statistics for the year 2000 in order to illustrate the relative role of illicit drugs as contributors to death. As can be seen, compared to other causes, illicit drugs result in relatively few deaths—hardly enough, the site argues, to warrant the cost of the so-called drug war.
Cause of death No. of deaths
Poor diet and physical inactivity 365,000
Microbial agents 75,000
Toxic agents 55,000
Motor-vehicle crashes 26,347
Adverse reactions to prescription drugs 32,000
Incidents involving firearms 29,000
All illicit drug use, direct and indirect 17,000
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin 7,600
Go to www.drugwarfacts.org for complete sourcing.