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Addiction to drugs and alcohol and substance abuse in general carries with it all kinds of other side effects and other consequences and problems. These issues transcend a lot of other problems, taking the crisis of substance abuse to be one of the top ten most concerning issues in the United States according to a State of the Union address last year by President Barack Obama.
Drug and alcohol addiction contributes to intensive amounts of violence all across the nation. It also contributes to excessive numbers of car accident deaths, and insane costs on the nation too in the form of lost wages, ambulance rides, ER costs, damages, expenses, funeral costs, accident coverage, collateral damage, and unemployment. Factually, drug and alcohol abuse costs the nation about four-hundred and fifty billion dollars every year.
Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction doesn’t stop there with the negative effects that it has on the nation though. The truth is that addiction and substance abuse is also a majorly contributing factor in American suicide. American suicide is an increasingly worrying problem, with recent years showing that the Unites States now has a higher than average percentage of suicides per capita when compared to global averages. Not at all surprisingly, drug and alcohol abuse has also risen in prevalence along with suicide. The two have shot up in their statistics and their numbers in tandem. Suicide is often brought on by drug and alcohol abuse; even a drug or alcohol overdose is a form of suicide in and of itself.
The Statistics on American Suicide
Just like drug and alcohol abuse in the nation, American suicide is another one of those major crisis issues in the United States that is going quite underreported. Things like violence and war overseas gets lots of news coverage, but drug and alcohol addiction and suicide in the nation is often given the cold shoulder in methods of address. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked together with other organizations and groups to help get to the bottom of it:
• The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 12.93 per 100,000 individuals, which is about the same number of deaths per 100,000 that die from drug-related causes.
• Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women, often because they are abusing drugs to cope with repressed emotions, or so they think.
• On average, there are 117 suicides per day.
• Of the 117 suicides every day, about 22 of them are committed by American veterans, a demographic that is almost always prescribed highly mind altering pharmaceutical drugs.
• White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2014.
• Firearms account for almost 50% of all suicides, but there are lots of other causes too.
• The rate of suicide is highest in middle age, white men in particular of those who commit it.
• In 2014, the highest suicide rate (19.3) was among people 85 years or older. The second highest rate (19.2) occurred in those between 45 and 64 years of age. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2014, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 11.6. Suicide in an 85 year old is almost understandable to a degree, especially in states that do not allow legal euthanizing of its residents. However, suicide in any other demographic is terrible to say the least.
• In the year of 2014, the highest U.S. suicide rate (14.7) was among Whites and the second highest rate (10.9) was among American Indians and Alaska Natives (Figure 5). Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Hispanics (6.3), Asians and Pacific Islanders (5.9), and Blacks (5.5). Coincidentally, Whites are also the most likely demographic to abuse drugs that tend to cause suicidal thoughts like opiate pain relievers, psychiatric medications, and heroin.
• 494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm and attempted suicide. This number suggests that approximately 12 people harm themselves for every reported death by suicide, which means that this issue is actually about twelve times as serious as was initially thought.
• Each year 42,773 Americans die by suicide. Each year about one-hundred and twenty thousand die from drug and alcohol abuse. Often, the two are connected.
• Suicide costs the U.S. $44 billion annually, most of which is tax dollars.
• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., drug and alcohol abuse is the third leading cause of death.
What to Do About the Problem
The main, underlying reason why people commit suicide is because they cannot cope with something that is going on in their lives. They are faced with a serious issue, problem, or difficulty that is causing them a significant amount of discomfort and grievance. When this is the case, the concept of ending life will actually be a lot more appealing and appeasing than continuing life is. Interestingly enough, people abuse drugs and alcohol for the exact same reasons. They consider that they have a serious issue, problem, or difficulty that is causing them significant amount of discomfort or grievance in life. It is the same underlying cause. Because addicts and potential suicide risk individuals are all struggling with the same underlying issues, the two problems often go hand in hand.
The way to stop drug and alcohol addicts from killing themselves is to address and eradicate the addiction that they have. This is the key and this is the most important thing for such persons to get handled. If the addiction is eradicated than the entire reason why one would want to take one’s own life is also eradicated.
This is done with inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, detox facilities, rehab programs, and recovery organizations. With effective inpatient rehabilitation, anyone who is struggling with addiction and is considering suicide can experience a total removal of the addiction and all of the underlying issues too that caused addiction in the first place. In this way, the danger is removed effectively and permanently. Those underlying issues and difficulties that cause substance abuse are also the same issues that, when exacerbated by substance abuse, cause suicide too.
1. Inpatient rehabilitation offers detoxification and rehabilitation both. Detoxification addresses the physical aspects of addiction and the actual dependence factors of addiction. This is done through a wean down procedure.
2. Inpatient rehab also offers all of the counseling and therapy needed to beat the mental and psychological impulses to abuse drugs and alcohol. In this way, these issues and problems are found, addressed, and eradicated too. Everyone has a reason why they started abusing drugs and alcohol in the first place, and everyone who commits suicide has a reason for doing so. Thanks to the therapies and counseling techniques offered at rehab centers, these issues can be gotten rid of once and for all and the individuals who go to rehab can go free.
Inpatient rehab is needed for drug and alcohol addicts now more so than ever. The truth is, in the United States today the rates of substance abuse and the rates of suicide both are going up and they keep going up and up and up. With rehab though, these issues and more can be addressed and brought down.
The United States faces many problems, and perhaps the biggest issues in the country are not overseas or international as we are often made to think, but right here within the nation’s borders. Today roughly eight percent of the nation is addicted to drugs and alcohol, and every year almost two-hundred thousand of those Americans will either die from an overdose, or they will take their own lives consciously. This problem needs to be addressed before it gets so severe and serious that nothing can be done to stop it.