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Drug Overdoses Are the 9th Leading Cause of Death in the US

Story at-a-glance -

  • Prescriptions for opioid painkillers rose by 300 percent between 2000 and 2009, and Americans now use 80 percent of all the opioids sold worldwide
  • Drug overdoses (63 percent of which are opioids) replaced kidney disease as the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2015
  • Addiction affects about 26 percent of those using opioids for chronic non-cancer pain; 1 in 550 patients on opioid therapy dies from opioid-related causes within 2.5 years of their first prescription

By Dr. Mercola

According to the U.S. surgeon general, more Americans now use prescription opioids than smoke cigarettes. This makes sense when you consider prescriptions for opioid painkillers rose by 300 percent between 2000 and 2009, and Americans now use 80 percent of all the opioids sold worldwide.


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