Most people often think of illegal drugs like crack, cocaine and heroin when they hear of death through drug use. However, legal drugs that can be bought with prescriptions or over-the-counter can lead to overdose and death. When legal drugs are abused or fall into the wrong hands, a catastrophic outcome can result. The same holds true when legal drugs are combined with alcohol use.
Vicodin — This is a prescription drug that is used to combat significant pain. Vicodin contains a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is a narcotic and it can impair your reactions and your thought process. Hydrocodone can be quite habit forming and it is easy to develop an addiction. Vicodin should only be taken to the amount prescribed by your physician. An overdose can be fatal. Some of the symptoms of an overdose include nausea, sweating, confusion and weakness.
Advair — Advair is a drug used to treat asthma. Advair contains salmeterol, which can increase the severity of an asthma attack. Salmeterol-based drugs may lead to as many as 5,000 deaths per year in the United States.
Avandia — This is a drug used to combat diabetes. The drug makes fat cells more responsive to insulin and it helps control blood-sugar levels. However, it has been linked to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attacks and a 64 percent increase in cardiovascular death among its users compared to other treatments.
Alcohol — The abuse of alcohol is widespread in the United States and around the world. It is estimated that 2.5 million deaths per year are caused by alcohol abuse. Additionally, those who attempt to quit drinking suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Those symptoms can be fatal in some cases.
Tobacco — Cigarette smoking is the primary cause of 90 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses. According to Dr. Scott Strayer, an associate professor at the University of Virginia Health System, more than 500,000 people die in the United States every year as a result of smoking.