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Alcohol, drugs, and suicide fatalities peaked ever since federal data collection began, reveals analysis

The number of fatalities caused due to drugs, alcohol, and suicide reached its peak in 2017, ever since federal data collection began in 1999, revealed an analysis of data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The analysis was carried out by two public health non-profit organizations.

According to the American Health Trust and the Well Being Trust, the national percentage of fatalities caused due to drugs, alcohol, and suicide increased from 43.9 percent to 46.6 percent deaths per 100,000 people in 2017. Although this percentage was less compared to 2015 and 2016, it was higher than the average 4 percent annual increase recorded since 1999.

Suicidal fatalities increased by double the annual average over the last decade to register at 4 percent, from 13.9 percent to 14.5 percent deaths per 100,000 people. Further, suicidal deaths caused due to suffocation increased by 42 percent from 2008 to 2017, while suicidal deaths caused by firearms increased by 22 percent during the same time period.

More efforts required to address the issue

According to Benjamin Miller, chief strategy officer of the Well Being Trust, more focused efforts are required to deal with the underlying causes of drug and alcohol use and suicide. He added that since the direction of efforts was not being changed, the situation was getting worse by the day. Considering the need for further efforts, the trust came up with the following approaches:

  • To increase the funding and support for programs that cut down the risk factors of alcohol and drug use and promoted flexibility in families, communities, and children. People experiencing severe trauma such as domestic violence during childhood are at an increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse and even committing suicide.
  • To introduce policies that restricted people’s access to means of inflicting self-harm, such as storing firearms and medications safely and acting responsibly in terms of opioid prescribing practices.
  • Employ more resources for programs oriented towards reducing the risk of overdose and addiction, particularly in areas where people are mostly affected and ensure they have increased and proper access to such services.

Need for more sensitivity

Miller was also of the view that while antidotes for drug overdose and treatment for opioid use disorder were certainly needed, they were not sufficient to fix the underlying issues that drove people to commit suicide. According to statistics, the number of deaths caused due to drug and alcohol abuse and suicides increased in most states in 2017. However, in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Utah, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, the death rates reduced.

Fatalities caused due to synthetic opioids increased to 45 percent. In fact, similar fatalities had increased ten times in the last five years. Tracing the reasons, experts said that the dearth of social connectivity in the present day may be the leading factor that fueled this hopelessness.

Experts further added that nowadays people did not share their joys and hopes in the same manner and were also not available at a physical and emotional level for one another. Miller too agreed and added that when people did not have a sense of belonging, they tend to look for meaning in other places such as addiction.

Recovering from substance abuse

Substance abuse often leads to tolerance, dependence, and then addiction. Addiction is a complex brain disease that is driven by compulsive substance use despite being aware of its harmful effects. People addicted to any substance such as alcohol or drugs are drawn to using them till the time the substance takes over their lives. To deal with any kind of addiction, one needs professional help. Invictus Health Group offers various addiction treatment programs in several locations to help people dealing with addiction embrace long-lasting recovery.

If you or a loved one is battling an addiction and is looking for a reliable residential drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, get in touch with the 24/7 Recovery Helpline. Call our 24/7 alcohol helpline 855-441-4405 to talk with an admission counselor. We offer information about comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for patients dealing with substance abuse issues. You can also chat online with our experts available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at our drug addiction help online. They would be happy to guide you with drug addiction help and suggest various addiction programs available near you.

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