Annual Number of Deaths By Selected Causes in the US, including deaths attributed to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use

Cause of death (Data from 2014 unless otherwise noted) Number
All Causes 2,626,418
Major Cardiovascular Diseases [MCD] 803,227
   Cerebrovascular Diseases [subset of MCD]    133,103
   Essential Hypertension and Hypertensive Renal Disease [subset of MCD]    30,221
Malignant Neoplasms [Cancer] 591,699
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases 147,101
Accidents (Unintentional Injuries) [Total] 136,053
   Motor Vehicle Accidents [subset of Total Accidents]    35,398
Alzheimer's Disease 93,541
Diabetes Mellitus 76,488
Influenza and Pneumonia 55,227
Drug-Induced Deaths1 49,714
Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephrosis 48,146
Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide) 42,773
Septicemia 38,940
Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis 38,170
   Alcoholic Liver Disease [subset of Chronic Liver Disease]    19,388
Injury by Firearms 33,599
Alcohol-Induced Deaths 30,722
Parkinson's Disease 26,150
Pneumonitis Due to Solids and Liquids 18,792
Homicide 15,809
Viral Hepatitis 8,081
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Disease 6,721
All Illicit Drugs Combined (2000)2 17,0002
Cannabis (Marijuana)3 0

2014 Data Detailing Drug-Induced Deaths,
Breaking Out Specific Data for Prescription Analgesics and Heroin,
as Reported by the CDC4
Drug Overdose Total 47,055
Pharmaceutical Opioid Analgesics 18,893
Heroin Overdose 10,574

2010 Drug Overdose Mortality Data In Detail,
Reported By Paulozzi et al.5
Drug Overdose Total 38,329
Pharmaceutical Drugs 22,134
Pharmaceutical Opioid Analgesics 16,651

1 "Drug" includes both legal and illegal drugs.

2 Mokdad, Ali H., PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, "Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000," Journal of the American Medical Association, (March 10, 2004), G225 Vol. 291, No. 10, 1242.

3 No recorded cases of overdose deaths from cannabis have been found in extensive literature reviews, see for example Gable, Robert S., "The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs," American Scientist (Research Triangle Park, NC: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, May-June 2006) Vol. 94, No. 3, p. 207.

4 CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality File, 2015, last accessed Dec. 11, 2015.

5 Paulozzi et al analyzed mortality figures and found that of 38,329 drug overdose deaths then reported in 2010, pharmaceutical drugs accounted for 22,134 deaths, of which 16,651 were opiod analgesic overdoses. The data were apparently revised slightly between the time the research letter was published in JAMA (February 2013) and release of the CDC's Deaths: Final Data for 2010 publication report, officially dated May 8, 2013.


Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, pp. 41-45, Table 10.
CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality File, 2015, last accessed Dec. 11, 2015.
Hedegaard H, Chen LH, Warner M. Drug poisoning deaths involving heroin: United States, 2000–2013. NCHS data brief, no 190. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.
Chen LH, Hedegaard H, Warner M. Drug-poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics: United States, 1999–2011. NCHS data brief no. 166.
Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014, p. 1.
Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, Karin A. Mack, PhD, and Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, "Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010," Journal of the American Medical Association, February 20, 2013, Vol 309, No. 7, p. 658.