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Out of All Drugs Legal And Illegal, Which Ones Kill?

If we were to have a sane and adult conversation about drug use and abuse in America instead of waging a war on drugs the same way we wage a war on terror, we might come to the realization that we’re letting the bad ones in our homes freely while some of the most helpful to improving the quality of life of the average person carry some of the highest minimum prison sentences of all, while touting an infinitesimal number of related deaths. Some of you may have read Thad McKracken’s well thought out article on the state of drugs in society today. The numbers fall in lockstep with his thoughts.

It turns out that, aside from Alcohol, Big Pharma is the #1 killer while drugs that have been used traditionally as entheogens hardly appear in the statistics at all. Drugs like LSD, DMT, Marajuana, Peyote and other psychedelics are used as a religious sacrament in many belief systems around the world, but are vilified because of their tendency to provide people with what Terence McKenna simply called ‘funny ideas’.

In 2010, there were 80,000 drug and alcohol overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database. The database, maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics, keeps a tally of all the deaths listed on certificates nationwide. They’re classified by the ICD-10 medical coding reference system.


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LSD is synthetic, and I

LSD is synthetic, and I wouldn't trust what someone is selling is even LSD these days.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

it sounded questionable to me, but . . .

apparently the young woman's migraines are manageable when she takes this stuff--

I'm not recommending it--

and I thought it was synthetic; the person telling me about it mentioned that it is synthesized from some kind of mushroom. I'm glad I don't have to worry about these people; I just thought it was interesting.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

It's synthesized from the

It's synthesized from the ergot fungus that can grow on wheat. I would rather deal with the headaches than the strong probability of going insane (being possessed) from tripping over and over

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

I'm glad I don't have to make that choice or that . . .

we've found healthier ways to deal with headaches, etc.--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

A bar graph would of been

A bar graph would of been better... but it shows the total number of drug deaths up and down, y-axis. As of 2010, 25 per 100,000. Now, all the colors are like percentages of the whole. The key tells the colors, the bottom, light green is like 1/3 of the whole of 25. Meaning light green, unintended pharma overdoses, is 1/3 of 25= 8.3333 of the total 25 out of every 100,000... caused by mistaken pharma diagnosises.. .marijuana barely shows up, in the other category, grey.

must have background checks

it's the only way to secure democracy.


A true flower can not blossom without sunlight and a true man can not live without love.

sh*tty graph

graph shows that pot and others kill the most and pharma kills the least. The whole damn thing is upside down.

~ Peace Love Revolution ~

yeah, the graph doesn't show

yeah, the graph doesn't show that at all. Pharm is the greatest portion of the graph while "other" (which includes pot) is a sliver too thin to see.

The number for this chart is Zero.

I believe it is zero for MJ.

Free includes debt-free!

I'm having a hard time fitting the graph to the . . .


I'd like to believe that pharma kills more people (well, I didn't mean it that way)--

but I don't see it here.

I'd like to believe that, because legal drugs really messed up some of my family members--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--


Yea that graph is a little difficult to read. It took me a minute but in a nutshell this is what I got from it.

The bottom line appears to show increase in deaths over time.

The side line represents total drug deaths. (ie. ~26-27 deaths per 100,000 people)

Since this is a comparison among multiple drugs there is a third parameter. The thickness of each colored line representing drug class. This shows the number (percentage %) of the total. The thickest line represents the most deaths. (ie. Pharmaceuticals by way of unintentional self harm) The thin grey Other* line at the top that is nearly invisible over time in comparison because it shows the least amount of deaths. (ie. Cannabis, LSD, Opium, Mescaline, Mushrooms and all cases of overdose by assault).

In my mind the chart should have had Other on the bottom and Pills at the top? Not my chart though.

Hope I got this right and this helps some of you. :)

I'm not intending to offend,

I'm not intending to offend, but this graph is very straight forward. My wife teaches 5th grade and they interpret graphs like this easily.

The Y axis (vertial) is drug overdose deaths/100,000 people.
The X axis (horizontal) is for each year from 1999 to 2010.

In 1999 the total deaths due to drug overdoses was about 12 per 100K, by 2010 it has increased to 26 per 100K.

The green component on bottom is the contribution from prescription drugs. Back in 1999 it was maybe a 1/3 of the OD deaths (~4 deaths / 100K people). By 2010 it had more than doubled to ~12/100K, now accounting for maybe just over half of all overdose deaths.

The teal is unspecified, so not much to say, might be proportional to size of bars around it or may be people who had multiple drugs in them.

Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc...up top doesn't mean more deaths from them. Look at the with of the bar - that is the # of deaths per 100,000 people. So, alcohol overdoses cause maybe 2.5 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 1 person in 1999.

Cocaine looks to be about flat at 1.5ish in both 1999 and 2010.
Heroin is less than 1 per 100K in 1999 and still less than 1 in 2010.
Narcotic about same as heroin.
Meth/ecstasy was barely measurable in 1999 and less than 1 in 2010.
Other (which includes pot) was 0 in 1999 and 0 in 2010, which makes sense b/c the CDC has agreed before than they have no record of anyone ever dying of a pot overdose.

The graph isn't complex. Just b/c a word is higher on the graph doesn't make it a higher rate - you look at the drugs color and what it contributed to the whole. Graphs like this are used all the time in many subjects.

thank you--

I'll look at it again.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Graph is upside down

you're right. It's like Orwellian double think.

It comes from this http://www.popsci.com/node/72962 who found there data using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's WONDER database http://wonder.cdc.gov/.

CDC... No wonder it's upside down.

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