CDC: More than 68,000 drug overdose deaths in 2018

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People who use drugs in the United States spent about $150 billion on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine in 2016, according to a report by the RAND Corporation for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The marijuana market is roughly the size of the cocaine and methamphetamine markets combined. Since this was a national study, the report included marijuana, but the report recognizes that more than 25 percent of the U.S. population lives in states that have passed laws that legalize marijuana for adults ages 21 and older.

From 2010 to 2016, the number of individuals who used marijuana in the past month increased nearly 30 percent, from 25 million to 32 million. The report estimates a 24 percent increase in marijuana spending over the same period, from $42 billion to $52 billion.

The size of the retail heroin market is now closer to the size of the marijuana market than it is to the other drugs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 68,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2018. More than 47,000 involved opioids.

Heroin consumption increased 10 percent per year between 2010 and 2016. The introduction of fentanyl into heroin markets has increased the risk of using heroin.

Although heroin, prescription opioids, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl receive more attention, deaths involving methamphetamine and cocaine are both on the rise.

Results suggest that cocaine consumption grew in 2016 as the price per pure gram declined.

There was a steady increase in the amount of methamphetamine seized within the United States and at the southwest border from 2007 through 2016.

The report also includes recommendations such as advances in the science of wastewater testing.

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