The One Statistic to Forever Scare You Away From Drugs

Share this with your children.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Brian Resnick
Feb. 7, 2014, 6:51 a.m.

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 sig­nificant 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.

What We're Following See More »
PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
12 hours ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
17 hours ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
IN 2014
Pentagon Warned Flynn Not To Accept Foreign Payments
19 hours ago
BREAKING
WOULD PUSH DEADLINE TO MAY 5
One-Week Spending Bill On The Table
19 hours ago
BREAKING

Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Source:
LOFTY GOALS
White House Proposes New Tax Plan
1 days ago
BREAKING

The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login