Do more people in the U.S. die from drug overdoses, motor vehicle accidents, or firearm accidents, homicides, and suicides?
A total of 70,630 drug overdose deaths were recorded in the U.S. during 2019. This compares to 37,991 motor vehicle deaths and 39,740 firearm-related deaths in 2018. Since 1999, the age-adjusted drug overdose death rate has risen by 3.5 times for males and 3.7 times for females. Contrary to those who claimed that legalizing marijuana would reduce such deaths, a 2019 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that states that enacted medical or recreational cannabis laws had about the same or greater increases in opioid deaths during 1999-2017 than states that did not. Likewise, a 2017 paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that "cannabis use appears to increase rather than decrease the risk of developing nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder."