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.
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