An important debate in the latest presidential campaigns was the legalization of currently illegal drugs. This issue has sparked aggressive debates nationwide and one of the most prominent arguments against the legalization of drugs is the increased death rate due to these drugs.
We need to wake up and realize that bantering over the “religious litigations” and irresponsibility of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, is downright ignoring our legal drug problem.
Did you know that prescriptions drugs are killing more people than several illegal drugs combined? In fact, “Depressants, opioids and antidepressants are responsible for more overdose deaths (45%) than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and amphetamines (39%) combined.”
Eighty-one percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication a day.
You may be thinking that many of these deaths are due to improper use of these drugs such as overdose or consuming the wrong medication. However, according to JAMA, more than 100,000 people die each year from the proper use of prescription drugs or the mere side effects of the “right drug.” You read that right, legal drugs are killing us even when we are taking them correctly. The CDC reported that drug-related deaths hit record levels in 2014, with an alarming 14 percent increase in just one year.
Therefore, while political pro vs. con marijuana debates is getting airtime on major news channels such as CNN, we are blatantly ignoring our current healthcare crisis.
Stop trying to prove the reasons why currently illegal drugs should or should not become legal. At our current rate and continued lack of action, legal drugs will increasingly kill more Americans than the more talked about drugs in the media.
There is a completely legal and widely used pharmaceutical system that is not only failing us, but killing us, and quite frankly we are doing nothing about it.
(featured image found off creative commons)