The national death rate for alcohol, drug and suicide deaths was just slightly lower in 2018 than the previous year, according to a new study.
Still, 151,964 died as a result, according to a study by the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust.
The research shows:
- Alcohol deaths were up 4%
- Suicide deaths were up 2%
- All opioid deaths were down 2%
However, death rates from synthetic opioids were up 10%, according to the report. Researchers also noted heroin involved overdose deaths were lower, but deaths involving cocaine and other psychostimulants were higher.
The report said: “While still disturbingly high, the 2018 data is the first time since 1999, when the current data collection began, that there has not been a sizable increase in the alcohol, drugs and suicide deaths per 100,000 rate. However, this stabilization in the deaths rate was not uniform. Some places and population groups are experiencing stable or decreasing deaths rates while rates among other groups or in other places continue to rise.”
The report warned that the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic pressure could bring increases.
“We know what works to address deaths of despair, but progress has been uneven and death rates continue to climb, with communities of color experiencing higher rates of increases in drug-induced and alcohol deaths,” said John Auerbach, president of America’s Health. “ And there’s another immediate concern: the COVID-19 crisis has increased the health burdens and economic pressures on many communities of color.”
NBC News added that an earlier report by Well Being Trust predicted that COVID-19 could cause an additional 75,000 deaths.
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