'Deaths of Despair' Are Rising, Experts Working To Alter The Problem

Ballantine's bottle with two rock glasses.
Ballantine's bottle with two rock glasses. (Photo: Pixabay/ Pexels)

Different experts from the medical field are working hand in hand in battling depression and other mental illnesses that could lead people from killing themselves. But amid the efforts and money invested, suicide is still considered as one of the primary causes of death worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization, about one person dies because of suicide every 40 seconds. This alarming death rate is, unfortunately, increasing, as shown in the recent report released by public-health groups Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust.

The recent study revealed how the "deaths of despair", which involves suicide and alcohol and drug abuse, have been increasing dramatically over the past decade. The population group that is said to be most affected by it are the younger generation, specifically the millennials.

By going through the health data of different people with ages 18 to 34, researchers behind the study found out that between the years 2007 and 2017, deaths that are related to drugs have increased by 108%. It has also been revealed how deaths related to alcohol abuse and suicide death rate has also increased by 69% and 35% respectively. As reported by TIME, people who have died due to "despair" within that past decade has totaled to 36,000, with drug overdoses topping the list.

The reports further revealed that among the type of drugs that have caused fatal drug overdose to millennials, opioids are what has been frequently used in 2017. These dangerous drugs include heroin, fentanyl, and morphine.

Meanwhile, the rising fad of heavy drinkers in 2017 has also been the main reason for alcohol-related deaths among younger Americans, experts say. This drinking habit can lead to serious health problems such as pancreatitis, cancer, liver problems, brain damage, ulcers, vitamin deficiencies, and malnourishment, which can end up fatal if not managed well.

Young people nowadays are more focused on living their life to the fullest, which unfortunately leads them to engage in several risk-taking behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse. But aside from this behavior, experts say there are still several reasons why young people are more prone to 'deaths of despair.' These reasons include financial stressors such as student loan debt and health care and lack of social support among their friends and families.

To help those who are suffering and also to minimize the "deaths of despair" rate, experts are focused on doing several steps. These steps include offering easier and more accessible treatment and screening for mental health, exposing more people to prevention programs especially those who are suffering from mental illnesses, offering more affordable health insurance for young people, and increasing of the alcohol tax rate to discourage more people to purchase it. 

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