Heroin: America’s Deadliest Drug

How Deadly Is Heroin Compared to Other Drugs?

Book Excerpt: From the Book – Heroin – Living and Dying with an Addict You Love

How to Survive When Everyone Dies

Chapter 2 – Heroin

Heroin is by far the deadliest drug in use in the United States today. Of the five million prescription pill users, 22,000 died from an overdose. There are 1.5 million cocaine users in the United States, less than 6,000 died from an overdose. Heroin has one-third the users of cocaine and one-tenth the users of prescription pills, yet it has twice the deaths of coke and one-half the deaths of prescription pain pills[1] (Figure 3).

  Prescription Pain Pills Cocaine Heroin
Deaths 22,000 6,000 13,000
Users 5,000,000 1,500,000 500,000
Death Rate (%) 0.44 0.40 2.60

Figure 3: Deaths and Death Rates for Narcotics.

[1] DEA. (2016). National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary—Updated (DEA-DCT-DIR-031-16). Retrieved February 2017 from https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2016/hq062716_attach.pdf