A new report found that at least 151,964 Americans died due to alcohol, drugs or suicide in 2018 and it warns Covid-19 could exacerbate the so-called “deaths of despair.”
The study by Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust showed deaths due to alcohol and suicide rose, while drug overdose deaths declined from the previous year.
“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,” according to a statement from Well Being Trust.
In 2018, alcohol deaths rose 4% for the year and suicide deaths were up 2%. Death rates for opioids declined, but the death rates for synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased, as did death rates for methamphetamine, ecstasy and prescription stimulants.
The report said that drug-induced deaths among American Indians, Asians, blacks and Latinos all increased from 2017.
“The profound racial health disparities seen in these data show that many ethnic minority groups are being left behind in our response efforts,” said Dr. Benjamin Miller, chief strategy officer with Well Being Trust.
Remember: Well Being Trust, a national public health group, also sounded the alarm earlier this month saying as many as 75,000 American’s could die because of drug or alcohol misuse and suicide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Economic downturns, stress due to isolation and a global pandemic could significantly increase these types of deaths, it said.