Pain in the Nation Update: Deaths from Alcohol, Drugs and Suicide Reach the Highest Level Ever Recorded

According to the most recent data, in 2016, 142,000 Americans, the highest number ever recorded, died from alcohol-and drug-induced fatalities and suicide - an average of one every four minutes.

 These 142,000 ‘despair deaths’ in 2016 add to the ore than one million Americans who died from drugs, alcohol or suicide in the previous decade (2006 to 2015). For context, deaths from these three causes are nearly identical in number as those who died in 2016 form stroke, the fifth leading cause of death in United Sates, and are greater than the number of Americans who died in U.S.  wars since 1950 combined.

For the second year in a row, alcohol, drug and suicide deaths also increased at a record pace, with an 11 percent increase — or more than 14,000 additional deaths, — between 2015 and 2016 and a seven percent increase from 2014 to 2015. In comparison, the death rate of heart disease and cancer, the leading causes of death in the United States, declined between 2015 and 2016, as they have over the previous decade as well. 

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