Marijuana is now legal in some form throughout 24 states, and despite the growing use and knowledge of weed, the number of Americans who have fatally overdosed on the drug may still surprise you.
In 2015, the rate of absolutely zero deaths from a marijuana overdose remained steady from the year before, according to figures released in December by the Centers for Disease Control. But while Americans aren’t dying as a result of marijuana overdoses, the same can’t be said for a range of other substances, both legal and illicit.
A total of 17,465 people died from overdosing on illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine in 2014, while 25,760 people died from overdosing on prescription drugs, including painkillers and tranquilizers like Valium, according to CDC figures.
Opioid overdose levels rose so sharply in 2014 — spiking 14 percent from the previous year — the CDC described the levels as “epidemic.”
“More persons died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record,” the CDC reported earlier this month.