Did you know that painkillers kill infinitely more people than cannabis each year? Here are six more facts about legally prescribed opioid painkillers like oxycodone you should know:
Painkillers kill more people than skydiving
According to the CDC, 46 Americans overdose on prescription pain killers each day. That’s 4 deaths per 100,000 users. Skydiving kills .75 people per 100,000 jumps. Cannabis kills 0.
Fewer patients die in states with legal marijuana
JAMA Internal Medicine found that 20% fewer patients died from opioid overdoses the year their state legalized cannabis. There are 33% fewer opioid deaths in states that have had legal cannabis for five or more years.
Painkillers are widely overprescribed
Only 27% of people who abuse opioids do so with their own prescription. Four times as many painkillers are prescribed today than were 16 years ago, but patients report experiencing the same amount of pain.
Opioids can lead to brain damage, respiratory problems and serious withdrawal symptoms
In addition to the possibility of an overdose, The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that misuse of opioids can result in slow breathing, coma or permanent brain damage.
Opioids are a gateway drug
According to the CDC, opioid painkiller users are 40 times more likely to use heroin. The National Institute on Drug Abuse finds that cannabis users are no more likely to use hard drugs than anyone else.
Opioid use cost society $55.7 billion in 2007
Opioid use leads to increased hospital visits, decreased productivity and criminal justice costs totaling $55.7 billion dollars worth of lost opportunities.
Cannabis made the Colorado government $76 million last year in taxes, licensees and fees, which went mostly to schools, rehab centers, etc.