Very interesting (and sad):

There’s been a stunning increase in the suicide rate among middle-aged Americans. The finding is part of a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that spells out how much suicide is a growing public health concern in the U.S.

In 2010, there were more suicides in the U.S., 38,000-plus, than there were fatal motor vehicle accidents. Most disturbing, that spike among the middle-aged, a 28 percent rise overall, a 40 percent jump among white Americans, and among men in their 50s, suicides increased by more than 48 percent.

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And what about abuse of non-prescription drugs, illegal or illicit drugs? Have we seen — do we know whether those deaths are intentional from things like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine?

THOMAS FRIEDEN: Well, one thing that’s quite striking is that, today, there are more people who die from prescription opiates than from heroin and cocaine combined, so a major problem.

And one thing that also isn’t always recognized is that alcohol is a significant contributor to depression and to mental health problems. That binge drinking and problem drinking can really exacerbate mental health problems. So for people to cut down, never more than four for men, never more than three for women at one sitting, makes a big difference.

 

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