Drugs are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States because the number of drug deaths is rising faster than ever before. In 2016 alone, more than 64,000 people died from a drug overdose, killing more Americans than the entire Vietnam War. This number of fatalities is increasing because of the opioid epidemic, which has become the deadliest drug overdose crisis in United States history. Other drugs are also contributing to the total number of fatalities, so here is every common drug ranked by how many fatalities they cause.
Among the more than 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to synthetic opioids, especially fentanyl. Fentanyl is now the leading cause of drug overdoses in the United States, taking more than 19,000 lives in 2016. The drug alone has made the deadliest drug crisis in American history even more deadly because it is more potent than other drugs while also costing less. Now, people are looking to marijuana to help with the opioid crisis because studies suggest that access to medical and recreational marijuana leads to less opioid abuse.