Opioids Over Accidents: How Americans Are Voluntarily Hurting Themselves More Than Ever

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An accidental overdose from opioids is now more likely to kill us than a car accident or a gun. At least, according to a new study from the National Safety Council. The findings show that opioids are not an issue we can just wish away like healthcare or gun reform.

The study took U.S. mortality data from 2017 and crunched the numbers regarding what kills us. The results a little startling. Also, from now on, we’re taking the train.

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What it found with regards to opioid use was that the odds of Americans dying via accidental overdose was 1 in 96. To put that in perspective, here’s a list of things less deadly than opioids:

  • Guns
  • Sharks
  • Stairs
  • Airplanes
  • Cars
  • The sun

Of course, none of those accidental fatality rates holds a candle to natural causes like cancer (1 in 7) or heart disease (1 in 6). Suicide comes in before opioids at 1 to 88 odds, but there’s no way our country’s mental health issues could play into the growing substance addiction problem, right?

According to the findings, your chances of dying in a car accident are 1 in 103, which is immediately behind opioid overdoses as a leading potential killer. The odds of dying in a train accident? 1 in 243,765.

In fact, preventable deaths have almost doubled in the past 25 years. It turns out, Americans are very good at self-harm. The rate of accidental deaths had fallen pretty steadily from around 1900 to the 1990s. From the early 90s to now, however, preventable deaths have been steadily climbing. If it were a stock, we’d recommend you buy.

The Centers for Disease Control has a breakdown on how likely something is to kill you, if you needed a mood boost.

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