Suicide Rate on the Rise; Experts Say Rising Drug Use May Be Contributing Factor

Suicide Rate on the Rise; Experts Say Rising Drug Use May Be Contributing Factor
The suicide rate in the United States rose 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researchers say increasing drug use may be one of the contributing factors. The economy is another possible factor in the increasing suicide rate, The Wall Street Journal reports. Suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States, the report notes. The suicide rate continued to increase in the first half of 2015, the CDC found in a separate study. There were more suicides among men than women, but the suicide rate for women increased faster during the study period. “Exactly where the major influences are—we don’t know all of the answers to that yet,” said CDC researcher Alex Crosby. “It is usually an interaction of multiple behaviors.” He noted abuse of prescription opioids, heroin and other drugs has increased...
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Teen Girls Start Drinking Before Their Male Peers

Teen Girls Start Drinking Before Their Male Peers
A new study finds teenage girls start drinking before their male peers, even though most strategies to reduce underage drinking are aimed at boys. Researchers at Michigan State University analyzed data of about 390,000 teens and young adults, ages 12 to 24, who took part in government surveys on drug use and health. They found in the middle teenage years, girls are more likely than boys to start drinking. After age 19, males drink more than females, HealthDay reports. “This new evidence from the United States shows that the so-called ‘gender gap’ in risk of becoming a drinker has narrowed to the point of there being no gap at all,” the researchers wrote in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research . “We really don’t know why girls are surpassing boys — that’s the next question we want to answer,” said lead researcher Dr. Hui Cheng. She noted that drinking...
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Study Links Economic Downturns and Drug Use

Study Links Economic Downturns and Drug Use
A new study concludes economic downturns lead to an increase in substance use disorders involving prescription pain relievers and hallucinogens. The connection is strongest among middle-aged white males with low levels of education. The researchers studied the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and its potential impact on substance use, The Wall Street Journal reports. They find “clear evidence that substance-use disorders involving analgesics and hallucinogens are both strongly countercyclical,” meaning that such drug use increases when the economy falters. The relationship between unemployment and painkiller abuse is especially strong among people who work in sales and service occupations, the researchers wrote in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. They found in fields such as construction, maintenance, machine operators, transportation workers and the armed forces, heroin use was strongly countercyclical. “As state budgets contract during economic downturns, drug-treatment funding is particularly vulnerable,” the researchers wrote. “Our findings suggest that such...
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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