Good news! New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests deaths from drug overdoses decreased slightly between 2017 and 2018. After two decades of steadily rising overdose death rates, a little headway has been made. There were 21.7 deaths per 100,000, compared to 20.8 deaths per 100,000 for the 12 months ending in the second quarter of 2018.
Efforts to increase access to addiction treatment services and the overdose reversal drug naloxone has paid off, some. However, the public health crisis this country faces is still as real as ever.
As many as six million people could be living with an opioid use disorder involving the use of prescription painkillers or heroin.
Each day, more than 100 Americans succumb to the deadly effects of an overdose.
While the above findings are promising, there continues to be a significant cause for concern, particularly with younger demographics. A new analysis of alcohol, drug use, and suicide among Millennials is startling.
Troubling Statistics About Alcohol, Drug Use, and Suicide
The latest federal data indicates that drug-related deaths skyrocketed 108% between 2007 and 2017 among people 18 to 34 years old. Alcohol-related deaths rose 69 percent and suicides increased 35 percent during the same period, USA Today reports. The findings were published by the organizations Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust.
“There is a critical need for targeted programs that address Millennials’ health, well-being and economic opportunity,” says John Auerbach, CEO of the Trust for America’s Health and Massachusetts’ former health secretary.
What are the driving forces behind what some experts dub “deaths of despair?” According to Mr. Auerbach, there are several, including:
- Education debt
- Housing costs
- The Great Recession
- Opioid epidemic
When people are unhappy, or they feel unable to get ahead in life, they are more likely to look for relief and escape. Drugs and alcohol can ease people’s worries for a time, but such effects are fleeting. Those who attempt to anesthetize their feelings put themselves at significant risk of developing a use disorder, and co-occurring mental illnesses as well.
The executive director of the mental health services non-profit agency, McClendon Center, Dennis Hobb, points out a disconnect between mental health and addiction services adds to the problem, according to the article. He said that it impacts patients who struggle with co-occurring illness.
“When people are ready for treatment you have to get them into treatment right now, you can’t wait,” said Hobb.
People who are dealing with a mental illness are at a higher risk of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. The behavior can lead to behavioral health disorders, such as an addiction. It is vital that each condition is treated simultaneously. Many of the young people who resort to self-harm and suicide never receive treatment.
Faith-Based Dual Diagnosis
If you are struggling with alcohol or substance use and feel that you may be contending with a co-occurring mental illness, please contact Celebrate Hope. Our faith-based dual diagnosis treatment program can help you address both disorders concurrently.
We are standing by to answer any of your questions and to help you get on the road toward recovery.