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Do more people in the U.S. die from drugs, guns, or motor vehicles?

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A total of 91,799 drug overdose deaths were recorded in the U.S. during 2020. This compares to 37,595 motor vehicle deaths and 39,707 gun-related deaths in 2019. Since 1999, the drug overdose death rate has quadrupled. 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."

DocumentationOverdose DeathsGun & Vehicle DeathsNational Academy of SciencesAmerican Journal of Psychiatry




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