I Own a Gun & My Parents Spanked Me Growing Up

 

This is not going to be a popular post but sometimes we have to say the unsaid things.

 

  • School shootings have been happening since the 1700’s
  • From the 1700’s-1960’s there was an average of 13 school shootings each decade.
  • On June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment because it represented establishment of religion…
  • In 1962 God was officially removed from our schools.
  • in 1970 the average of school shootings climbed from 16 to 33
  • Homicides involving firearms have been the leading cause of death for African American males ages 15 to 19 since 1969…
  • In the 1960’s 34% of Americans owned a Gun..
  • In 1975 47% of households owned a gun. In 2014 31% of households own a gun. In 2017 38% of household own a gun…
  • Mass Shootings that took place by decades…

1950s: 1

1960s: 6

1970s: 13

1980s: 32

1990s: 42

2000s: 28

What are all of these statistics you ask? They are proof that owning a gun has NOTHING to do with the violence and brokenness we are experiencing in our time. Instead the removal of God and prayer from our everyday lives, the lack of discipline schools can enforce, and the lack of discipline parents enforce has everything to do with the climb in gun violence and the amount of lives we are losing daily.

  1. We removed God from schools and our schools began to see an increase of violence.

    • We ask where God is when things like what happened in Florida happen…well, we told him we don’t want you here. You are not welcome. You represent a lack of freedom. And in that we have no room to blame God for not having his hand in our education when we have removed him. I will not argue with you on this incident BUT I will loudly state, without God we will continue to see violence, a lack of hope, confusion, and brokenness.
  2. We have taken away the ability for teachers to discipline.

    • True Story: In my undergraduate internship I sat in a parent meeting with my cooperating teacher. This child had thrown a stapler at the teacher and was suspended for two days. In the meeting the parents said to the teacher and I quote “This is not like our child, did you say something to them to make them mad…” My mouth hit the floor. Did you know we (teachers) can be sued for disciplining a child.
    • Nearly 8 in 10 teachers (78%) said students are quick to remind them that they have rights or that their parents can sue. STUDENTS WILL LITERALLY SAY TO TEACHERS MY PARENTS CAN SUE YOU.
    • Nearly half of teachers surveyed (49%) reported they have been accused of unfairly disciplining a student.
    • Virtually all teachers (97%) said good discipline and behavior are prerequisite for a successful school. And virtually all (93%) said it is the public schools’ job to teach kids to follow the rules so they are ready to join society. Yet nearly 8 in 10 teachers said their school has students who should be removed and sent to alternative schools. In what the report terms a perhaps the harshest testimonial to the problem, 52% of the teachers surveyed reported their school has an armed police officer on school grounds.More than 1 in 3 teachers said colleagues in their school had left because student discipline was such a challenge, and the same number personally considered leaving. Many complained about being more in the crowd control business than in teaching. The gum chewing the yawning aloud or putting their feet up on the desklike they didn’t know that was inappropriate, said one New Jersey teacher.More than half of teachers said that behavior problems often stem from teachers who are soft on discipline because they can’t count on parents or their schools to support them. And 85% believe new teachers are particularly unprepared to deal with behavior problems.
    • So lets talk about school discipline in the 60’s. School discipline was very different in the early 1960s. The most common form of discipline was corporal punishment (paddling), which is outlawed in 31 states today. In the 1960s, students could receive a number of swats from a principal or teacher, depending on the severity of the infraction.  Staying inside during recess, staying after school, writing lines on paper or the blackboard, or standing in a corner were also common punishments. Corporal punishment was a mainstay, and other types of punishment such as in-school suspension, alternative schools, and sending students to the “Dean of Discipline” were all common punishments.Whats interesting about this era specifically is the Dean of Discipline. The dean’s single job was to deal with punishment.(http://evolutionofdiscipline.weebly.com/50s60s.html) The idea was that it would allow teachers and principals to focus more on their educational duties (and all the teachers said AMEN).
  3. Parents want to be their child’s friends instead of their parent.

    • This is not a popular statement these days but it drives me up A WALL!!
    • In the 60’s chores did not come with a list of instructions or parents telling children to do it more than one time. Chores did not come with allowance or rewards. After talking with my grandparents and reading multiple journal accounts from people growing up in the 30’s-60’s I discovered various forms of discipline. You would go to bed without eating. You would get spanked with a switch, leather, and other various forms. Children had to stand up on any occasion when an adult would enter the room, even if that adult was the child’s parent. On the bus, it was expected that boys would give up their seat for a woman or anyone senior in age and also give up their places in line for the bus. You could never leave the table at dinner time without asking permission first. Children had to say “please” and “thank you,” and if they didn’t use these words correctly, they would be informed by adults that they were being rude. When wearing a hat, it would be suitable etiquette to take it off when going indoors, into a shop or when talking to a lady on the street. A child would be taught to say, “I would like,” and was taught never to say the words, “I want.” Opening the door for someone, especially a woman or an adult, was necessary, as was letting her exit before the child did so. Children went to bed when it got dark and read books. They used their imagination and helped raise younger siblings.
    •  Permissive parenting became a trend in (you guessed it) the 1960’s. If you google “How to Discipline Your Child”, these are the first three results; How to Love your Child through Disobedience, When it Comes to Discipline there is No Need to Raise Your Voice, and How to Discipline Your Child without Raising Your Voice. Seeing this makes my eyes roll. This article from CNN says it all, 

      The father of the 9 year old boy who snuck onto a plane from Minneapolis to Las Vegas last month broke down in tears during a press conference, distressed over his child’s behavior problems and his own efforts to correct them.

      That frustrated dad’s tears drew national attention to a serious issue: overwhelmed parents at a loss over how to discipline their children who repeatedly act out. “I’m a parent. I’m not perfect,” said the father, who wore a hooded sweatshirt and a ball cap to shield his identity.
       
       
      Sometime before his son’s airline escapade, the father said, the boy had stolen a delivery van and was brought home by a police officer. The father asked the officer to come into his house to watch him discipline his son.
      “I said, ‘Please, sir, can you go up with me and watch me whip his butt?’ The officer said, ‘If I see you hit your son, we’re going to have to lock you up.’ “
      “What can I do?” the visibly shaken father asked. “If I whip my son, I get locked up. If I let him keep doing what he is doing, I get into trouble. Someone please, please help me.”
      This dad is certainly not alone in feeling at a loss about what to do.
    • Now I am not going to sit here and write there is a right or wrong way to discipline your children that is not my place BUT  I am going to say LOOK AT THE STATISTICS.

There are other elements that add to violence such as abusive home-life, climb in violent video games, the decline of father figures in homes, the climb of social media influences, the climb of mental health issues, etc. But I can also look at these and state my above opinions (and facts) could clear up a lot of these issues too. Parents you have control over what your kids see, watch, do, and say. You have a say so in their friends, in their social media, in what they eat, and how they dress.

I will also make this very small statement on gun violence, since I have kind of given away my stance. Are drugs illegal? Yes. Yet 20.8 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year. 16.2 million of those were using illegal drugs. I mean and lets be honest how often do we want to push the big red button that says “DO NOT PUSH.” 

In all honesty I don’t know how to close this post except my heart is broken for the Florida and what these students had to witness. My heart is broken over our nation. My heart is broken politics divide us. I am scared as a parent but also believe God created Ezra for such a time as this.

I am hopeful because my God created the heavens and the earth. He breathes life into my lungs. I have witness His restoration and love. And this earth is not my home.

3 Replies to “I Own a Gun & My Parents Spanked Me Growing Up”

  1. Interesting post! Thanks for your thoughts. I wonder why these mass killings only happen here in this country? No where else in the developed world does this type of destruction reguarly occurr, where 50+ people are being shot and killed in less than 10 minutes (Los Vegas) and 17 children are dying in mere minutes in school ((Flordia). Are Europeans/Australians/ Canadians more likely to spank kids and talk about God in schools? Your arugment would be really powerful if you had examples of other countries where this doesn’t happen and looked at what they did differently- especially if it confirms your thesis here. (Of course violence occures in these countries but the scale is not comparable at all….The power that an assault weapon
    has to kill dozens and dozens of people in minutes is something only this country has to face) But the question is what are these countries doing differently? Well the one thing that we know well is that these countries have much stricter gun laws (including bans on assault weapons which we too had until 2004) But if this is not the reason mass shooting don’t occur in these countries then what exactly are they doing? It seems that would be a good place to start in finding an answer here.

    Violence will always occur. But it seems that we could easily lessen the damage by putting more restrictions on gun ownership. Of course all those other things , like faith and discipling children can certainly help. But until we do something about the guns, any kid that falls through the cracks can easily get their hands on military style weapons and walk into our schools. This just doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.

    1. While I support certain legislation for gun control, I think it’s important to also create awareness about the other useless deaths that are occurring everyday in America. Here area the latest facts*: Drug-Induced Deaths – 55,403, Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide) – 44,193, Alcohol-Induced Deaths – 33,171 and Illicit Drugs – 17,000 account for a total 149,767 deaths, that’s a current average of “425 deaths a day” without firearms. Firearms accounted for 36,252 in the statistics.

      We have tried to legislate all of those problems and we are failing miserable. You can not legislate morality. The point is, we don’t have a drug or a gun problem, we have a heart and mind problem. Until, as a country we have one banner of truth that all people respond to both morally and mentally (as in the past), we will continue to decline and these numbers will only increase. As long as people base their values and morality on their wants, desires and current situation, each persons view of right and wrong will be skewed and effect those around them in a negative manner as the statistics reveal. The reality of the situation, as people continue to spiral out of control it will be necessary to have the knowledge and the tools to protect ones self and family.

      One last note, a prime example of how people can justify their morality…since 1970 “Roe vs Wade”, 8,021,010 babies have been aborted. Anyone who thinks this number was to save that many women’s lives is simply deceiving themselves. Abortion is the answer to not wanting to accept the responsibility of their sexual activity. If we are going to talk about saving lives, lets talk about those 8,021,010 defenseless babies.

      *Statistical References:

      Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Curtin SC, Arias E. Deaths: Final data for 2015. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 66 no 6. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, pp. 41-45, Table 10.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality File, 2015, last accessed Dec. 11, 2015.
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/h
      Hedegaard H, Chen LH, Warner M. Drug poisoning deaths involving heroin: United States, 2000–2013. NCHS data brief, no 190. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/d
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/d
      Chen LH, Hedegaard H, Warner M. Drug-poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics: United States, 1999–2011. NCHS data brief no. 166.
      Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014, p. 1.
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/d….
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/h
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/h
      Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, Karin A. Mack, PhD, and Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, “Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010,” Journal of the American Medical Association, February 20, 2013, Vol 309, No. 7, p. 658.
      http://jama.jamanetwork.com/ar
      U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Printed with corrections, January 2014, p. 660, Table 12.4
      https://www.surgeongeneral.gov
      https://www.surgeongeneral.gov

      2. Opioid Involvement in Deaths in the US Attributed to Drug Overdose, 2016
      According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States. The CDC further estimates that of those, 42,249 deaths involved any opioid. The CDC further reports that in 2016, 15,469 deaths involved heroin; 14,487 deaths involved natural and semi-synthetic opioids; 3,373 deaths involved methadone; and 19,413 deaths involved synthetic opioids other than methadone, a category which includes fentanyl. The sum of those numbers is greater than the total opioid involved deaths because, as noted by the CDC, “Deaths involving more than one opioid category (e.g., a death involving both methadone and a natural or semisynthetic opioid such as oxycodone) are counted in both categories.”

      Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      3. Provisional Counts of Overdose Deaths Can Be Misleading
      The federal Centers for Disease Control reported on December 21, 2017, that there had been a total of 63,600 deaths attributed to drug overdose in the US in 2016. Based on data available for analysis on Oct. 1, 2017, the CDC’s provisional count of drug overdose deaths in the US for the 12-month period ending in December 2016 had been 71,135. The difference is attributed to data quality: provisional counts are by definition incomplete, which means they can be misleading.
      The CDC compiles and publishes official data on annual causes of death in the United States. Demand for data on drug overdose deaths, and on drug overdoses generally, is so great that the CDC is now making raw data on these subjects available to the public. Those data are provisional, not final, and so can be misleading. Several caveats that must be understood before examining the numbers. According to the CDC:
      “Provisional counts are often incomplete and causes of death may be pending investigation (see table Notes). Data quality measures, such as percent completeness in overall death reporting and percentage of deaths pending investigation, are included to aid interpretation of provisional data, because both data completeness and the percentage of records pending investigation are related to the accuracy of provisional counts (see Technical Notes). Provisional data are based on available records that meet certain data quality criteria at the time of analysis and may not include all deaths that occurred during a given time period. Therefore, they should not be considered comparable with final data and are subject to change. Reporting of specific drugs and drug classes varies by jurisdiction, and comparisons across selected states should not be made (see Technical Notes).”

      Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      “Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA, based on data available for analysis on Oct. 1, 2017, last accessed Oct. 19, 2017 at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/

      4. Deaths in 2016 in the US Attributed to Drug Overdose
      “• In 2016, there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States.
      “• The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in 2016 (19.8 per 100,000) was 21% higher than the rate in 2015 (16.3).
      “• Among persons aged 15 and over, adults aged 25–34, 35–44, and 45–54 had the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016 at around 35 per 100,000.
      “• West Virginia (52.0 per 100,000), Ohio (39.1), New Hampshire (39.0), the District of Columbia (38.8), and Pennsylvania (37.9) had the highest observed age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2016.
      “• The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (drugs such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol) doubled between 2015 and 2016, from 3.1 to 6.2 per 100,000.”

      Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      5. Deaths from Drug Overdose in the United States
      “During 2015, drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 U.S. deaths, including 33,091 (63.1%) that involved an opioid. There has been progress in preventing methadone deaths, and death rates declined by 9.1%. However, rates of deaths involving other opioids, specifically heroin and synthetic opioids other than methadone (likely driven primarily by illicitly manufactured fentanyl) (2,3), increased sharply overall and across many states.”

      Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1445–1452. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmw
      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volum
      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volum

      6. Factors That May Skew Estimates of Overdose Deaths Attributed to Specific Drugs, Particularly Opioids
      “First, factors related to death investigation might affect rate estimates involving specific drugs. At autopsy, the substances tested for, and circumstances under which tests are performed to determine which drugs are present, might vary by jurisdiction and over time. Second, the percentage of deaths with specific drugs identified on the death certificate varies by jurisdiction and over time. Nationally, 19% (in 2014) and 17% (in 2015) of drug overdose death certificates did not include the specific types of drugs involved. Additionally, the percentage of drug overdose deaths with specific drugs identified on the death certificate varies widely by state, ranging from 47.4% to 99%. Variations in reporting across states prevent comparison of rates between states. Third, improvements in testing and reporting of specific drugs might have contributed to some observed increases in opioid-involved death rates. Fourth, because heroin and morphine are metabolized similarly (9), some heroin deaths might have been misclassified as morphine deaths, resulting in underreporting of heroin deaths. Finally the state-specific analyses of opioid deaths are restricted to 28 states, limiting generalizability.”

      Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1445–1452. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmw
      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volum
      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volum

      7. Growth of Fentanyl Related Deaths in the US
      “Preliminary estimates of U.S. drug overdose deaths exceeded 60,000 in 2016 and were partially driven by a fivefold increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (excluding methadone), from 3,105 in 2013 to approximately 20,000 in 2016 (1,2). Illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50–100 times more potent than morphine, is primarily responsible for this rapid increase (3,4). In addition, fentanyl analogs such as acetylfentanyl, furanylfentanyl, and carfentanil are being detected increasingly in overdose deaths (5,6) and the illicit opioid drug supply (7). Carfentanil is estimated to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine (8). Estimates of the potency of acetylfentanyl and furanylfentanyl vary but suggest that they are less potent than fentanyl (9). Estimates of relative potency have some uncertainty because illicit fentanyl analog potency has not been evaluated in humans.”

      Julie K. O’Donnell, PhD; John Halpin, MD; Christine L. Mattson, PhD; Bruce A. Goldberger, PhD; R. Matthew Gladden, PhD. Deaths Involving Fentanyl, Fentanyl Analogs, and U-47700 — 10 States, July–December 2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vol. 66. Centers for Disease Control. October 27, 2017.
      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volum

      8. Estimated Economic Impact of Illegal Opioid Use and Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths
      The White House Council of Economic Advisers released its analysis of the economic costs of illegal opioid use, related overdoses, and overdose mortality in November 2017. It reported a dramatically higher estimate than previous analyses, largely due to a change in methodology. Previous analyses had used a person’s estimated lifetime earnings to place a dollar value on that person’s life. According to the CEA, “We diverge from the previous literature by quantifying the costs of opioid-related overdose deaths based on economic valuations of fatality risk reduction, the “value of a statistical life” (VSL).”
      The CEA noted that “According to a recent white paper prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Policy for review by the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (U.S. EPA 2016), the EPA’s current guidance calls for using a VSL estimate of $10.1 million (in 2015 dollars), updated from earlier estimates based on inflation, income growth, and assumed income elasticities. Guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggests using the range of estimates from Robinson and Hammitt (2016) referenced earlier, ranging from a low of $4.4 million to a high of $14.3 million with a central value of $9.4 million (in 2015 dollars). The central estimates used by these three agencies, DOT, EPA, and HHS, range from a low of $9.4 million (HHS) to a high of $10.1 million (EPA) (in 2015 dollars).”
      In addition, the CEA assumed that the number of opioid-related overdoses in the US in 2015 was significantly under-reported. According to its report, “However, recent research has found that opioids are underreported on death certificates. Ruhm (2017) estimates that in 2014, opioid-involved overdose deaths were 24 percent higher than officially reported.4 We apply this adjustment to the 2015 data, resulting in an estimated 41,033 overdose deaths involving opioids. We apply this adjustment uniformly over the age distribution of fatalities.”
      The combination of that assumption with the methodology change resulted in a dramatically higher cost estimate than previous research had shows. According to the CEA, “CEA’s preferred cost estimate of $504.0 billion far exceeds estimates published elsewhere. Table 3 shows the cost estimates from several past studies of the cost of the opioid crisis, along with the ratio of the CEA estimate to each study’s estimate in 2015 dollars. Compared to the recent Florence et al. (2016) study—which estimated the cost of prescription opioid abuse in 2013—CEA’s preferred estimate is more than six times higher, reported in the table’s last column as the ratio of $504.0 billion to $79.9 billion, which is Florence et al.’s estimate adjusted to 2015 dollars. Even CEA’s low total cost estimate of $293.9 billion is 3.7 times higher than Florence et al.’s estimate.”
      In contrast, the CEA noted that “Among the most recent (and largest) estimates was that produced by Florence et al. (2016), who estimated that prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence in the United States in 2013 cost $78.5 billion. The authors found that 73 percent of this cost was attributed to nonfatal consequences, including healthcare spending, criminal justice costs and lost productivity due to addiction and incarceration. The remaining 27 percent was attributed to fatality costs consisting almost entirely of lost potential earnings.” According to the CDC, there were 25,840 deaths in 2013 related to an opioid overdose.
      According to the CEA, “We also present cost estimates under three alternative VSL assumptions without age-adjustment: low ($5.4 million), middle ($9.6 million), and high ($13.4 million), values suggested by the U.S. DOT and similar to those used by HHS. For example, our low fatality cost estimate of $221.6 billion is the product of the adjusted number of fatalities, 41,033, and the VSL assumption of $5.4 million. Our fatality cost estimates thus range from a low of $221.6 billion to a high of $549.8 billion.”

      “The Underestimated Cost of the Opioid Crisis,” Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President of the United States, November 2017.
      https://www.whitehouse.gov/sit
      Warner M, Trinidad JP, Bastian BA, et al. Drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths: United States, 2010–2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016. Table B, p. 64.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ

      9. Estimated Drug-Induced Mortality in the US, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
      “In 2014, a total of 49,714 persons died of drug-induced causes in the United States (Tables 10, 12, and 13). This category includes deaths from poisoning and medical conditions caused by use of legal or illegal drugs, as well as deaths from poisoning due to medically prescribed and other drugs. It excludes unintentional injuries, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother’s drug use. (For a list of drug-induced causes, see Technical Notes; also see the discussion of poisoning mortality that uses the more narrow definition of poisoning as an injury in the preceding ‘‘Injury mortality by mechanism and intent’’ section.)

      “In 2014, the age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes for the total population increased significantly, 6.2%, from 14.6 in 2013 to 15.5 in 2014 (Internet Tables I–3 and I–4). For males in 2014, the age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes was 1.6 times the rate for females. The age-adjusted death rate for black females was 42.9% lower than for white females, and the rate for black males was 29.3% lower than for white males. The rate for drug-induced causes increased 7.2% for males and 5.4% for females in 2014 from 2013.

      “Among the major race-sex and race-ethnicity-sex groups, the age-adjusted death rates for drug-induced causes increased significantly in 2014 from 2013 for white males (7.5%), white females (4.7%), black males (8.6%), non-Hispanic white males (8.0%), non-Hispanic white females (5.5%), non-Hispanic black males (7.6%), and non-Hispanic black females (11.3%). The rate for Hispanic males did not change significantly. The rate for Hispanic females was unchanged.”

      Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, pp. 12-13.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      10. Alcohol-Induced Mortality in the US, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
      “In 2014, a total of 30,722 persons died of alcohol-induced causes in the United States (Tables 10, 12, and 13). This category includes deaths from dependent and nondependent use of alcohol, as well as deaths from accidental poisoning by alcohol. It excludes unintentional injuries, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to alcohol use, as well as deaths due to fetal alcohol syndrome (for a list of alcohol-induced causes, see Technical Notes).

      “The age-adjusted death rate for alcohol-induced causes for the total population increased significantly, 3.7%, from 8.2 in 2013 to 8.5 in 2014 (Tables I–5 and I–6). For males, the age-adjusted death rate for alcohol-induced causes in 2014 was 2.8 times the rate for females. Compared with the rate for the white population, the rate for the black population was 31.9% lower.

      “Among the major race-sex and race-ethnicity-sex groups, the age-adjusted rate for alcohol-induced death increased significantly in 2014 from 2013 for white males (3.8%), white females (8.9%), black females (13.8%), Hispanic males (7.2%), non-Hispanic white males (3.2%), non-Hispanic white females (6.3%), and non-Hispanic black females (13.3%). The rate for non-Hispanic black males did not change significantly.”

      Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, p. 13.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      11. Drug Overdose Deaths in the US, Polydrug Use, and Involvement of Prescription Pharmaceutical Drugs
      “Of the 36,667 drug overdose deaths with at least one mention of a specific drug, 52% mentioned only one specific drug (18,931 deaths), 26% mentioned two (9,351 deaths), 12% mentioned three (4,521 deaths), 6% mentioned four (2,041 deaths), and 5% mentioned five or more (1,823 deaths). Among drug overdose deaths with at least one mention of a specific drug, the average number of specific drugs mentioned was 1.9.
      “Table C shows the percentage of drug overdose deaths with concomitant drugs for drug overdose deaths involving the top 10 drugs in 2014. The percentage of deaths involving concomitant drugs varied by referent drug. For example, the majority of the drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine did not involve other drugs. In contrast, among deaths involving alprazolam and diazepam, more than 95% involved other drugs.
      “The average number of concomitant drugs involved (excluding the referent drug) also varied among the top 10 drugs involved in drug overdose deaths. For example, drug overdose deaths involving diazepam or alprazolam had on average more than two additional drugs involved in death. Drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine had on average fewer than two additional drugs involved in death.
      “Figure 5 shows the percent distribution of the number of concomitant drugs for overdose deaths involving the top 10 drugs in 2014 (Table 5). For example, for drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine, 55% had no concomitant mentions, 25% mentioned one other drug, 18% mentioned two to four other drugs, and 1% mentioned five or more drugs. In contrast, for drug overdose deaths involving diazepam, 3% had no concomitant mentions, 22% mentioned one other drug, 62% mentioned two to four other drugs, and 13% mentioned five or more other drugs.
      “Table D shows the most frequent concomitant drugs for each of the top 10 drugs involved in drug overdose deaths in 2014.
      “• One in five drug overdose deaths involving heroin also involved cocaine.
      “• Alprazolam was involved in 26% of the drug overdose deaths involving hydrocodone, 23% of the deaths involving oxycodone, and 18% of the deaths involving methadone.
      “• More than one-third (37%) of the drug overdose deaths involving cocaine also involved heroin.
      “• Nearly 20% of the overdose deaths involving methamphetamine also involved heroin.”

      Warner M, Trinidad JP, Bastian BA, et al. Drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths: United States, 2010–2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, pp. 5-6.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      12. Alcohol as a Factor in Overdose Deaths Attributed to Other Drugs in the US
      “In 2014, alcohols, including ethanol and isopropyl alcohol, were involved in 15% of all drug overdose deaths and 17% of the drug overdose deaths that mentioned involvement of at least one specific drug. Table E shows the frequency of alcohol involvement among drug overdose deaths involving specific drugs.

      “• Alcohol involvement was mentioned in 12%–22% of the drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam, diazepam, or cocaine.

      “• Alcohol involvement was mentioned in less than 10% of the drug overdose deaths involving methadone and methamphetamine.”

      Warner M, Trinidad JP, Bastian BA, et al. Drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths: United States, 2010–2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, pp. 5-6.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      13. Estimated Annual Number of Deaths Caused by Tobacco Use in the US – Mortality Data
      “The 2014 Surgeon General’s report estimates that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States.1 This widely cited estimate of the mortality burden of smoking may be an underestimate, because it considers deaths only from the 21 diseases that have been formally established as caused by smoking (12 types of cancer, 6 categories of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], and pneumonia including influenza). Associations between smoking and the 30 most common causes of death in the United Kingdom in the Million Women Study suggest that the excess mortality observed among current smokers cannot be fully explained by these 21 diseases.2

      Brian D. Carter, M.P.H., Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D., et al., “Smoking and Mortality — Beyond Established Causes,” New England Journal of Medicine, Feb 12, 2015;372:631-40. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1407211.
      http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/1

      14. Alternative Estimate of Total Number of Deaths In the US Caused By Tobacco Use
      “Our results suggest that the Surgeon General’s recent estimate of smoking-attributable mortality may have been an underestimate. The Surgeon General’s estimate, which took into account only the 21 diseases formally established as caused by smoking, was that approximately 437,000 deaths among adults are caused each year by active smoking (not including secondhand smoke). However, the Surgeon General’s report presents an alternative estimate of 556,000 deaths among adults on the basis of the excess mortality from all causes. The difference between these two estimates is nearly 120,000 deaths.1 If, as suggested by the results in our cohort, at least half of this difference is due to associations of smoking with diseases that are causal but are not yet formally established as such, then at least 60,000 additional deaths each year among U.S. men and women may be caused by cigarette smoking.”

      Brian D. Carter, M.P.H., Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D., et al., “Smoking and Mortality – Beyond Established Causes,” New England Journal of Medicine, Feb 12, 2015;372:631-40. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1407211.
      http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/1

      15. Drug Poisoning Deaths In The US 2013, and Trends 1999-2013
      “In 2013, a total of 43,982 deaths in the United States were attributed to drug poisoning, including 16,235 deaths (37%) involving opioid analgesics. From 1999 to 2013, the drug poisoning death rate more than doubled from 6.1 to 13.8 per 100,000 population, and the rate for drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics nearly quadrupled from 1.4 to 5.1 per 100,000. For both drug poisoning and drug poisoning involving opioid analgesics, the death rate increased at a faster pace from 1999 to 2006 than from 2006 to 2013.”

      Li-Hui Chen, PhD; Holly Hedegaard, MD; Margaret Warner, PhD. Rates of Deaths from Drug Poisoning and Drug Poisoning Involving Opioid Analgesics — United States, 1999–2013. Centers for Disease Control. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vol. 64, No. 1. January 16, 2015, p. 32.
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/d

      16. Increasing Involvement Of Benzodiazepines In Opioid Overdose Mortality In The US
      “In 2011, 5,188 opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths also involved benzodiazepines (sedatives used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures), up from 527 such deaths in 1999 (Figure 3). From 2006 through 2011, the number of opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths involving benzodiazepines increased 14% on average each year, while the number of opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths not involving benzodiazepines did not change significantly.”

      Chen, LH, Hedegaard, H, and Warner, M. Drug-poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics: United States, 1999–2011. NCHS data brief, No. 166. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2014, p. 3.
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/d
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/d

      17. Polydrug Involvement in Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths in the US
      “Opioids were frequently implicated in overdose deaths involving other pharmaceuticals. They were involved in the majority of deaths involving benzodiazepines (77.2%), antiepileptic and antiparkinsonism drugs (65.5%), antipsychotic and neuroleptic drugs (58.0%), antidepressants (57.6%), other analgesics, antipyretics, and antirheumatics (56.5%), and other psychotropic drugs (54.2%). Among overdose deaths due to psychotherapeutic and central nervous system pharmaceuticals, the proportion involving only a single class of such drugs was highest for opioids (4903/16 651; 29.4%) and lowest for benzodiazepines (239/6497; 3.7%).”

      Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, Karin A. Mack, PhD, and Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, “Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010,” Journal of the American Medical Association, February 20, 2013, Vol 309, No. 7, p. 658.
      http://jama.jamanetwork.com/ar

      18. Role of Psychopharmaceuticals in Overdose Deaths
      “This analysis confirms the predominant role opioid analgesics play in pharmaceutical overdose deaths, either alone or in combination with other drugs. It also, however, highlights the frequent involvement of drugs typically prescribed for mental health conditions such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and antipsychotics in overdose deaths. People with mental health disorders are at increased risk for heavy therapeutic use, nonmedical use, and overdose of opioids.4-6 Screening, identification, and appropriate management of such disorders is an important part of both behavioral health and chronic pain management.”

      Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, Karin A. Mack, PhD, and Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, “Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010,” Journal of the American Medical Association, February 20, 2013, Vol 309, No. 7, p. 659.
      http://jama.jamanetwork.com/ar

      19. Opioid Overdose Deaths In The US, 1999-2007
      “From 1999 to 2007, the number of U.S. poisoning deaths involving any opioid analgesic (e.g., oxycodone, methadone, or hydrocodone) more than tripled, from 4,041 to 14,459, or 36% of the 40,059 total poisoning deaths in 2007. In 1999, opioid analgesics were involved in 20% of the 19,741 poisoning deaths. During 1999–2007, the number of poisoning deaths involving specified drugs other than opioid analgesics increased from 9,262 to 12,790, and the number involving nonspecified drugs increased from 3,608 to 8,947.”

      “Number of Poisoning Deaths* Involving Opioid Analgesics and Other Drugs or Substances — United States, 1999–2007,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 20, 2010, Vol. 59, No. 32 (Atlanta, GA: US Centers for Disease Control), p. 1026.
      http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk

      20. Effect of Cannabis on Mortality
      “In summary, this study showed little, if any, effect of marijuana use on non-AIDS mortality in men and on total mortality in women. The increased risk of AIDS mortality in male marijuana users probably did not reflect a causal relationship, but most likely represented uncontrolled confounding by male homosexual behavior. The risk of mortality associated with marijuana use was lower than that associated with tobacco cigarette smoking.”

      Stephen Sidney, MD, Jerome E. Beck, DrPH, Irene S. Tekawa, MA, Charles P Quesenberry, Jr, PhD, and Gary D. Friedman, MD, “Marijuana Use and Mortality.” American Journal of Public Health 87.4 (1997) pp. 589–590.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

      21. Mortality Risk from MDMA Use
      “Hall and Henry (2006) reviewed the medical scenarios and treatment options for physicians dealing with MDMA-related medical emergencies: ‘Hyperpyrexia and multi-organ failure are now relatively well-known, other serious effects have become apparent more recently. Patients with acute MDMA toxicity may present to doctors working in Anaesthesia, Intensive Care, and Emergency Medicine. A broad knowledge of these pathologies and their treatment is necessary for those working in an acute medicine speciality’.
      “Despite rapid medical intervention, some disorders are difficult to reverse and deteriorate rapidly, with occasional fatal outcomes (Schifano et al., 2003). In an early report, Henry et al. (1992) described MDMA-induced fatalities in seven young party goers, whose body temperatures at the intensive care unit ranged between 40

      Parrott, Andrew C., “Human Psychobiology of MDMA or ‘Ecstasy’: An Overview of 25 Years of Empirical Research,” Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 2013; 28:289-307. DOI: 10.1002/hup.2318
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com

      22. Opiate Pain Reliever OD Deaths, 1999-2008
      “During 1999–2008, overdose death rates, sales, and substance abuse treatment admissions related to OPR increased in parallel (Figure 2). The overdose death rate in 2008 was nearly four times the rate in 1999. Sales of OPR in 2010 were four times those in 1999.”

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers — United States, 1999–2008,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Atlanta, GA: 2011), Vol. 60, No. 43, p. 1488.
      http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk

      23. MDMA Mortality Risk
      “Schifano et al. (2010) analysed the government data on recreational stimulant deaths in the UK between 1997 and 2007. Over this period, there were 832 deaths related to amphetamine or methamphetamine and 605 deaths related to Ecstasy/MDMA. Many were related to multiple-drug ingestion or ‘polydrug’ use. However, in the analysis of ‘mono-intoxication’ fatalities, Schifano et al. (2010) found that deaths following Ecstasy use were significantly more represented than deaths following amphetamine/methamphetamine use (p 1000).”

      Sellman, Doug, “If alcohol was a new drug,” Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association (Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Medical Association, September 2009), p. 6.
      http://www.nzma.org.nz/__data/

      26. Alcohol Mortality and Other Annual Costs in the US
      “Excessive alcohol use* accounted for an estimated average of 80,000 deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) in the United States each year during 2001–2005, and an estimated $223.5 billion in economic costs in 2006. Binge drinking accounted for more than half of those deaths, two thirds of the YPLL, and three quarters of the economic costs.”

      * Excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking (defined by CDC as consuming four or more drinks per occasion for women or five or more drinks per occasion for men), heavy drinking (defined as consuming more than one drink per day on average for women or more than two drinks per day on average for men), any alcohol consumption by pregnant women, and any alcohol consumption by youths aged less than 21 years.

      Kanny, Dafna; Garvin, William S.; and Balluz, Lina, “ital Signs: Binge Drinking Prevalence, Frequency, and Intensity Among Adults — United States, 2010,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 13, 2012) Vol. 61, No. 1, p. 14.
      http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk

      27. Marijuana and Mortality
      “Indeed, epidemiological data indicate that in the general population marijuana use is not associated with increased mortality.”

      Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base,” Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999), p. 109.
      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.ph

      28. Lower Opioid Overdose Mortality Rates In States With Medical Cannabis Laws
      “Although the mean annual opioid analgesic overdose mortality rate was lower in states with medical cannabis laws compared with states without such laws, the findings of our secondary analyses deserve further consideration. State-specific characteristics, such as trends in attitudes or health behaviors, may explain variation in medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality, and we found some evidence that differences in these characteristics contributed to our findings. When including state-specific linear time trends in regression models, which are used to adjust for hard-to-measure confounders that change over time, the association between laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality weakened. In contrast, we did not find evidence that states that passed medical cannabis laws had different overdose mortality rates in years prior to law passage, providing a temporal link between laws and changes in opioid analgesic overdose mortality. In addition, we did not find evidence that laws were associated with differences in mortality rates for unrelated conditions (heart disease and septicemia), suggesting that differences in opioid analgesic overdose mortality cannot be explained by broader changes in health. In summary, although we found a lower mean annual rate of opioid analgesic mortality in states with medical cannabis laws, a direct causal link cannot be established.”

      Bacchuber, Marcus A., MD; Saloner, Brendan, PhD; Cunningham, Chinazo O., MD, MS; and Barry, Colleen L., PhD, MPP. “Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010.” JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4005. Published online August 25, 2014.
      http://archinte.jamanetwork.com

      29. Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) in the US
      “Overall, we found that alcohol use accounted for approximately 3.5% of all cancer deaths, or about 19 500 persons, in 2009. It was a prominent cause of premature loss of life, with each alcohol-attributable cancer death resulting in about 18 years of potential life lost. Although cancer risks were greater and alcohol-attributable cancer deaths more common among persons who consumed an average of more than 40 grams of alcohol per day (‡ 3 drinks), approximately 30% of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths occurred among persons who consumed 20 grams or less of alcohol per day. About 15% of breast cancer deaths among women in the United States were attributable to alcohol consumption.”

      David E. Nelson, Dwayne W. Jarman, Jürgen Rehm, Thomas K. Greenfield, Grégoire Rey, William C. Kerr, Paige Miller, Kevin D. Shield, Yu Ye, and Timothy S. Naimi. (2013). Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. e-View Ahead of Print. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301199
      Abstract at http://ajph.aphapublications.o

      30. Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths in the US
      “Our estimate of 19,500 alcohol-related cancer deaths is greater than the total number of deaths from some types of cancer that receive much more prominent attention, such as melanoma or ovarian cancer,36 and it amounted to more than two thirds of all prostate cancer deaths in 2009.36 Reducing alcohol consumption is an important and underemphasized cancer prevention strategy, yet receives surprisingly little attention among public health, medical, cancer, advocacy, and other organizations in the United States, especially when compared with efforts related to other cancer prevention topics such as screening, genetics, tobacco, and obesity.”

      David E. Nelson, Dwayne W. Jarman, Jürgen Rehm, Thomas K. Greenfield, Grégoire Rey, William C. Kerr, Paige Miller, Kevin D. Shield, Yu Ye, and Timothy S. Naimi. (2013). Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. e-View Ahead of Print. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301199
      Abstract at http://ajph.aphapublications.o

      31. Deaths by Suicide in the US
      “The age-adjusted death rate increased significantly between 2013 and 2014 for five leading causes: unintentional injuries (2.8%), stroke (0.8%), Alzheimer’s disease (8.1%), suicide (3.2%), and Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (2.0%).”
      According to the CDC, there were 42,773 deaths by suicide in the United States in 2014.

      Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, p. 10, and Table 10, p. 44.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      32. Deaths by Homicide in the US
      “Assault (homicide), the 17th leading cause of death in 2014, dropped from among the 15 leading causes of death in 2010 but is still a major issue for some age groups. In 2014, homicide remained among the 15 leading causes of death for age groups 1–4 (3rd), 5–14 (5th), 15–24 (3rd), 25–34 (3rd), 35–44 (5th), and 45–54 (13th).”
      According to the CDC, there were a total of 15,809 deaths by assault (homicide) in the US in 2014.

      Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, p. 10, and Table 10, p. 44.
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/produ
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/

      33. Global Estimated Drug-Related Mortality, 2011
      “UNODC estimates that there were between 102,000 and 247,000 drug-related deaths in 2011, corresponding to a mortality rate of between 22.3 and 54.0 deaths per million population aged 15-64. This represents between 0.54 per cent and 1.3 per cent of mortality from all causes globally among those aged 15-64.20 The extent of drug-related deaths has essentially remained unchanged globally and within regions.”

      UNODC, World Drug Report 2013 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.13.XI.6), p. 10.
      https://www.unodc.org/unodc/se

      34. Alcohol Poisoning Deaths in the US, 2010-2012
      “On average, 6 people died every day from alcohol poisoning in the US from 2010 to 2012. Alcohol poisoning is caused by drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time. Very high levels of alcohol in the body can shutdown critical areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, and body temperature, resulting in death. Alcohol poisoning deaths affect people of all ages but are most common among middle-aged adults and men.”

      “Alcohol Poisoning Deaths: A deadly consequence of binge drinking,” CDC Vital Signs, January 2015, p. 1.
      http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/
      http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/

      35. Leading Causes of Death by Race/Ethnicity, 2008
      The Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2008, HIV disease was the 25th leading cause of death in the US for non-Hispanic whites, the 10th leading cause of death for non-Hispanic blacks, and the 17th leading cause of death for Hispanics.

      Heron, Melonie P., PhD, “Deaths: Leading Causes for 2008,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 60, No. 6 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, June 6, 2012), p. 12, Table E.
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/n

      36. Illicit Drug Use
      “Illicit drug use is associated with suicide, homicide, motor-vehicle injury, HIV infection, pneumonia, violence, mental illness, and hepatitis. An estimated 3 million individuals in the United States have serious drug problems. Several studies have reported an undercount of the number of deaths attributed to drugs by vital statistics; however, improved medical treatments have reduced mortality from many diseases associated with illicit drug use. In keeping with the report by McGinnis and Foege, we included deaths caused indirectly by illicit drug use in this category. We used attributable fractions to compute the number of deaths due to illicit drug use. Overall, we estimate that illicit drug use resulted in approximately 17000 deaths in 2000, a reduction of 3000 deaths from the 1990 report.”

      Mokdad, Ali H., PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, “Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000,” Journal of the American Medical Association, (March 10, 2004), G225 Vol. 291, No. 10, 1242.
      http://www.csdp.org/research/1

      37. Homicide Rates – Basic International Comparisons, 2012
      “The global average homicide rate stands at 6.2 per 100,000 population, but Southern Africa and Central America have rates over four times higher than that (above 24 victims per 100,000 population), making them the sub-regions with the highest homicide rates on record, followed by South America, Middle Africa and the Caribbean (between 16 and 23 homicides per 100,000 population). Meanwhile, with rates some five times lower than the global average, Eastern Asia, Southern Europe and Western Europe are the sub-regions with the lowest homicide levels.
      “Almost three billion people live in an expanding group of countries with relatively low homicide rates, many of which, particularly in Europe and Oceania, have continued to experience a decrease in their homicide rates since 1990. At the opposite end of the scale, almost 750 million people live in countries with high homicide levels, meaning that almost half of all homicides occur in countries that make up just 11 per cent of the global population and that personal security is still a major concern for more than 1 in 10 people on the planet.”

      UNODC Global Study on Homicide 2013 (United Nations publication, Sales No. 14.IV.1), p. 12.
      http://www.unodc.org/documents

      38. Adverse Drug Reaction Deaths in US Hospitals
      “Our study revealed that experiencing an ADR [Adverse Drug Reaction] while hospitalized substantially increased the risk of death (1971 excess deaths, OR 1.208, 95% CI 1.184-1.234). This finding reflects about a 20% increase in mortality associated with an ADR in hospitalized patients. Extrapolating this finding to all patients suggests that 2976 Medicare patients/year and 8336 total patients/year die in U.S. hospitals as a direct result of ADRs; this translates to approximately 1.5 patients/hospital/year.”

      C. A. Bond, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP and Cynthia L. Raehl, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP, “Adverse Drug Reactions in United States Hospitals,” Pharmacotherapy, 2006;26(5):601-608.
      http://www.medscape.com/viewar
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu

      39. Leading Causes of Death 2000
      “The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000 deaths; 16.6%), and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75,000), toxic agents (55,000), motor vehicle crashes (43,000), incidents involving firearms (29,000), sexual behaviors (20,000), and illicit use of drugs (17,000).”

      Note: According to a correction published by the Journal on January 19, 2005, “On page 1240, in Table 2, ‘400,000 (16.6)’ deaths for ‘poor diet and physical inactivity’ in 2000 should be ‘365,000 (15.2).’ A dagger symbol should be added to ‘alcohol consumption’ in the body of the table and a dagger footnote should be added with ‘in 1990 data, deaths from alcohol-related crashes are included in alcohol consumption deaths, but not in motor vehicle deaths. In 2000 data, 16,653 deaths from alcohol-related crashes are included in both alcohol consumption and motor vehicle death categories.”

      Mokdad, Ali H., PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, “Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000,” Journal of the American Medical Association, (March 10, 2004), G225 Vol. 291, No. 10, p. 1238, 1240.
      http://proxy.baremetal.com/csd
      Source for Correction: Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan. 19, 2005, Vol. 293, No. 3, p. 298.

      40. Dangers of New Prescription Drugs
      “Each year offers new examples of injuries and deaths caused by untoward dangers in prescription drugs. Prominent illustrations from recent years include Vioxx, a popular arthritis painkiller that more than doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes,6 a risk that lingered long after users stopped taking the drug;7 ‘Phen-fen,’ a diet drug that caused heart damage;8 and Propulsid, a drug that reduced gastric acid but also threatened patients’ hearts.9 Once information on these side-effects became known to the public, the manufacturers of each of these drugs stopped selling them and, eventually, paid millions or billions of dollars to settle claims for resulting injuries.10 Merck, for example, having withdrawn the profitable Vioxx drug11 from the market in 2004, settled nearly 50,000 Vioxx cases in late 2007 for $4.85 billion.12 In 2009, Eli Lilly agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.415 billion in criminal and civil penalties for promoting its antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa, as suitable for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).13 These cases may be among the more prominent, but they represent just the tip of the iceberg of damage caused by prescription drugs.”

      Owen, David G., “Dangers in Prescription Drugs: Filling a Private Law Gap in the Healthcare Debate,” Connecticut Law Review (Hartford, CT: University of Connecticut School of Law, February 2010) Volume 42, Number 3, p. 737.
      http://uconn.lawreviewnetwork….

      41. Adverse Drug Reactions
      “Adverse drug reactions are a significant public health problem in our health care system. For the 12,261,737 Medicare patients admitted to U.S. hospitals, ADRs were projected to cause the following increases: 2976 deaths, 118,200 patient-days, $516,034,829 in total charges, $37,611,868 in drug charges, and $9,456,698 in laboratory charges. If all Medicare patients were considered, these figures would be 3 times greater.”

      C. A. Bond, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP, and Cynthia L. Raehl, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP, Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas, “Adverse Drug Reactions in United States Hospitals” Pharmacotherapy, 2006;26(5):601-608.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu

      42. Marijuana Safety – DEA Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling
      “3. The most obvious concern when dealing with drug safety is the possibility of lethal effects. Can the drug cause death?
      “4. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.
      “5. This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death.
      “6. By contrast aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year.
      “7. Drugs used in medicine are routinely given what is called an LD-50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced toxicity. A number of researchers have attempted to determine marijuana’s LD-50 rating in test animals, without success. Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death.
      “8. At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.
      “9. In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity.”

      US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, “In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition” (Docket #86-22), September 6, 1988, p. 56-57.
      http://druglibrary.net/olsen/M

      43. Deaths and Hospitalizations From Use of Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
      “Each year, use of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) accounts for an estimated 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations in the United States.” (NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, ketoprofen, and tiaprofenic acid.)

      Robyn Tamblyn, PhD; Laeora Berkson, MD, MHPE, FRCPC; W. Dale Jauphinee, MD, FRCPC; David Gayton, MD, PhD, FRCPC; Roland Grad, MD, MSc; Allen Huang, MD, FRCPC; Lisa Isaac, PhD; Peter McLeod, MD, FRCPC; and Linda Snell, MD, MHPE, FRCPC, “Unnecessary Prescribing of NSAIDs and the Management of NSAID-Related Gastropathy in Medical Practice,” Annals of Internal Medicine (Washington, DC: American College of Physicians, 1997), September 15, 1997, 127:429-438.
      http://annals.org/article.aspx
      Citing: Fries, JF, “Assessing and understanding patient risk,” Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology Supplement, 1992;92:21-4.

      44. Acetaminophen-Related Liver Injury
      “… acetaminophen-related liver injury led to approximately
      • 56,000 emergency department visits (1993–1999),
      • 26,000 hospitalizations (1990–1999), and
      • 458 deaths (1996–1998).
      “Of these cases, unintentional acetaminophen overdose was associated with
      • 13,000 emergency department visits (1993–1999),
      • 2189 hospitalizations (1990–1999), and
      • 100 deaths (1996–1998) (71 FR 77314 at 77318).”

      Federal Register, “Organ-Specific Warnings; Internal Analgesic, Antipyretic, and Antirheumatic Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use; Final Monograph,” Vol. 74, No. 81, Wednesday, April 29, 2009, p. 19385.
      http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/F

      45. Lethal Dose by Substance
      “The most toxic recreational drugs, such as GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) and heroin, have a lethal dose less than 10 times their typical effective dose. The largest cluster of substances has a lethal dose that is 10 to 20 times the effective dose: These include cocaine, MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, often called ‘ecstasy’) and alcohol. A less toxic group of substances, requiring 20 to 80 times the effective dose to cause death, include Rohypnol (flunitrazepam or ‘roofies’) and mescaline (peyote cactus). The least physiologically toxic substances, those requiring 100 to 1,000 times the effective dose to cause death, include psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana, when ingested. I’ve found no published cases in the English language that document deaths from smoked marijuana, so the actual lethal dose is a mystery.”

      Gable, Robert S., “The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs,” American Scientist (Research Triangle Park, NC: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, May-June 2006) Vol. 94, No. 3, p. 207.
      http://www.americanscientist.o

  2. Thank you for posting this. I know there are a lot of people out there who have the same outlook. I for one have a lot of the same thoughts and choose to avoid conflict most of the time.

    All of us have many of the same goals in life, we just have different ways of getting there.

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