Poisoning Killed More Arizonans Than Guns in 2011

Categories: Guns, Health
While gun-control advocates have been showing off a report that shows more Arizonans have died from bullets in the last few years than car accidents, that report neglects the number-one cause of injury deaths in Arizona -- poison.

A report on injuries released today by the Arizona Department of Health Services shows that 4,546 people died from injuries in 2011, and one-quarter of those people were killed by poisoning.

See also:
Arizona Still One of Few States Where More People Die From Guns Than Car Crashes

"Firearms" is still the number-two cause of injury death in Arizona (yes, with suicides included), but check out the list of the top causes for more perspective:

  1. Poisoning -- 25%
  2. Firearms -- 20%
  3. Falls -- 17%
  4. Motor vehicle traffic -- 16%
  5. "Other" -- 9%
  6. Suffocation -- 7%
  7. Drowning -- 2%
  8. Nature/Environmental -- 2%
  9. Cut/Pierce -- 1%

Obviously, most people in Arizona don't die from injuries, but unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death overall, far behind the top killers -- heart disease and cancer.

Perhaps Arizonans are riskier people, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stats show unintentional injuries are the fifth-leading cause of death nationwide.

A separate AZDHS report on poisoning shows the top poisons listed on death certificates in 2011 were alcohol (186), oxycodone and hydrocodone (175), heroin (120), meth (116), morphine (101), and benzodiazepines (99).

Very young kids were more likely to be poisoned by things like cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and painkillers.

Check out the AZDHS report on injuries here.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Often the people running these studies have an agenda.  Normally it is "OMG look at all the people dead by guns, let's put together a study that supports our opinion (and therefore include EVERY possible gun death, including officer-involved shootings and suicides)...Reading this writeup I figured the is one is the opposite, this one is "Let's prove guns aren't so bad by comparing them to poisoning... and we'll include EVERY possible poisoning (including heroin OD's and other such) while removing officer-involved shootings.

Reading the linked writeup, though, they evaluate several different ways to eliminate the bias.  It doesn't make a good soundbite and doesn't support either agenda...is why it's not going to be trumpeted about by either camp.

Mary Doe
Mary Doe

RE:"Perhaps Arizonans are riskier people." Or you are a retiree's state. That's why the third cause listed is 'fall.'


So you're saying a self-injected heroin overdose is considered a poisoning?  Sounds like the question needs more possible answers.


Wow, nobody died from marijuana poisoning.

valleynative topcommenter

@loboco76 I don't understand why people think that drug overdoses aren't poisonings.

There are many different types of poisoning, accidental and otherwise, just as there are many different types of shootings.

valleynative topcommenter

@Mary Doe  When an old person falls and subsequently dies in the hospital, I don't believe they list the fall as the cause.  Particularly since, when an old person "falls and breaks their hip", it's usually really that their fragile hip broke and caused them to fall.

valleynative topcommenter

@unmutual  Of course it is.  It's an accidental self-inflicted poisoning.

Most surveys have situations like this that people don't expect, like the fact that many of the "gun related deaths" reported earlier are from police shooting criminals.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault