According to a newly released study from the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, hard drug users who use both heroin and cocaine have a mortality rate that is 14.3 times higher than the population at large.
For users of cocaine alone, that rate is 5.1 times higher.
The results come from a survey of more than 20,000 drug users in Spain who were admitted into treatment programs over the span of 10 years (1997-2007). The researchers followed up on the participants until 2008, accumulating “a total of 132,824 person-years of follow-up,” they wrote — a truly massive amount of data.
The authors suggest this is perhaps the largest sample of drug users ever studied.
Here are some of their grim findings.
- “Heroin use was also the strongest independent predictor of a higher mortality risk among all cocaine users.”
- “Other signiï¬cant risk factors were daily cocaine use and having been previously admitted to drug treatment.”
- “Not having regular employment and lifetime drug injection were important independent mortality risk factors both among [cocaine-only users] and [cocaine and heroin users].”
Their findings also suggest that cocaine use is slightly more dangerous for women than men, but they are not sure why.
Though the numbers are stark, the researchers do admit that their sample was limited to people who have entered rehab, which could mean the participants in their sample had a more aggressive drug habit than what would be represented in a truly random sample. And also, direct causation can’t be inferred from a survey. “This excess mortality cannot automatically be attributed to cocaine or heroin use, because participants and the general population may differ in other factors that were not assessed, such as mental disorders, personality factors, [and] social conditions,” they write.
But still, even if it serves as a high boundary of the risks of using drugs, it’s a boundary you don’t want to approach. After all, who would would want to even double their chance of dying, let alone increasing it 14-fold.
- 1 How Ron Wyden Banned Internet Taxes Forever
- 2 Obama’s Second-Term Agenda Hits a Roadblock: the Supreme Court
- 3 John Kasich Dismisses Climate Change As ‘Some Theory That’s Not Proven’
- 4 Obamacare Will Reduce Income Inequality, but Quietly
- 5 I Did Improv With the ‘Jeopardy Villain,’ and He’s Exactly as He Appears on Television
What We're Following See More »
Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.
UPDATED: Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) will not be playing the role of Ralph Nader in this year’s election. Speaking in Dallas today, Webb said, “We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically, it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run.”
“The leaders of the Republican and Democratic national committees on Wednesday weighed in on the prospect of an independent presidential run by” former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). “DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz suggested that the former New York City mayor’s priorities are already ‘well cared-for’ in the Democratic platform, while RNC leader Reince Priebus welcomed the idea, saying Bloomberg would siphon off votes from the Democratic candidate.”
Three hundred fifty-two, thanks to superdelegates pledged to Clinton, and the vagaries of the delegate allocation process in early states. Not bad, considering her results have been a virtual tie and a blowout loss.