More Prescription Drug Deaths Than…

More Prescription Drug Deaths Than…

When we talk about addiction, we’re not just talking about alcohol abuse or illicit drug abuse. In a report released in July 2005, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University said that prescription drug abuse is skyrocketing. In the United States there is a startling difference between the death rates caused by prescription drugs and more well known killers of our time…

Cause of Death Annual Death Toll 2005
Prescription Drugs 32,000
Suicide 30,622
Firearms 29,000
Car Accidents 26,347
Homicide 20,308
Sexual Behavior 20,000
HIV/AIDS 17,011
Illegal Drugs 17,000
Anti-Inflammatory 7,600
Terrorism 310


1,378 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than suicide…that’s 4% more. Total suicide deaths in 2005: 30,622 One suicide occurs every 16 minutes, with one attempt every minute. The number one cause of suicide is undiagnosed and untreated depression.


3,000 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than firearms…that’s 9% more. Total firearm deaths in 2005: 29,000. The U.S. has the highest concentration of gun owners in the world. It is estimated that Americans buy half of all the guns manufactured in the world each year. Currently, due to the rise of shootings on campuses, twelve states are considering legislation to allow guns on college campuses.

Car Accidents

5,653 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than car accidents… that’s 18% more. Total car accident deaths in 2005: 26,347 There were over 6 million car accidents in 2005 costing more than $2 billion.


11,692 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than homicide … that’s 37% more. Total Homicide deaths in 2005: 20,308 Detroit is considered the most dangerous city in the U.S. with 418 cases of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in 2006. That’s 47 murders per every 100,00 residents.

Sexual Behavior

1,200 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than sexual behavior…that’s 37% more. Total sexual behavior deaths in 2005: 20,000 Sexual behavior includes infertility, abortions, and sexually transmitted infections. Women account for 80% of deaths attributed to sexual behavior due to cervical cancer.


14,989 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than HIV/AIDS… that’s 47% more. Total HIV/AIDS deaths in 2005:17,011 Currently, it is believed that more than 1 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. Since 1981 more than half a million Americans have died of AIDS – the equivalent of the entire population of Las Vegas. Over 60% of men and women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were exposed to it through sexual contact.

Illegal Drugs

15,000 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than illegal drugs (including heroin and cocaine)…that’s 47% more. Total illegal drug deaths in 2005:17,000 Drug induced deaths result directly from drug consumption and overdose. Drug abuse is a major factor in the transmission of std’s, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

24,400 more people died from prescription drugs in 2005 than anti-inflammatory drugs…that’s 76% more. Total anti-inflammatory drug deaths in 2005: 7,600 Anti-inflammatores include ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen. Long term use of these can cause gastric erosions which can become stomach ulcers and in extreme cases cause severe hemorrhaging resulting in death.


Statistics prove prescription drugs are 16,400% more deadly than terrorists. It is not difficult to calculate the actual probability that one of us might die from a terrorist attack on US soil. If we consider Oklahoma City and 9/11, as well as the other attacks on US soil, we end up with close to 3100 terror deaths in ten years. That’s about 310 deaths by terror on US soil per year.

Prescription Drugs


One Response to “More Prescription Drug Deaths Than…”

  1. kayakotto Says:

    Nice post, stats, and graphics. Thanks for putting it up. Now what do we do about it? I have one suggestion. has a great booklet that is totally free for the asking called “Guide to Addiction Recovery for a Lifetime” – good place to start.

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