PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times reports President Trump's tax returns show chronic losses; and will climate change make it as a topic in the first presidential debate?


2020Talks - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times obtains President Trump's tax returns, showing chronic loss and debts coming due. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Concerns Grow Over COVID-19 Reversing Progress on Opioid Deaths

As many as 75,000 Americans could die because of drug or alcohol misuse and suicide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by Well Being Trust. (Adobe Stock)
As many as 75,000 Americans could die because of drug or alcohol misuse and suicide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by Well Being Trust. (Adobe Stock)
May 28, 2020

MILWAUKEE -- The coronavirus pandemic has pushed unemployment rates in many states to record highs, and health policy groups worry it could mean an increase in suicides, drug and alcohol abuse.

John Auerbach, president and CEO of the non-profit group Trust for America's Health, says for the first time in two decades, U.S. deaths from drug overdoses, alcohol abuse and suicide leveled off in 2018.

But he warns that minority communities with lower wages typically report the highest numbers of preventable deaths. And unemployment due to COVID-19 could reverse progress made in reducing drug abuse.

"The loss of a job, unstable housing, a relationship breakup -- so, we know that the lower your income, the more likely that you're going to be experiencing those and at risk for these causes of death," he points out.

The overall U.S. opioid death rate dropped by 2% from 2017 to 2018, while the death rate for synthetic opioids increased 10% nationwide. Wisconsin health officials say all opioid-related deaths in the state have decreased by nearly 5% since 2016.

A Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust study did show a 51% increase in preventable deaths from drugs and suicide over the past decade.

Auerbach says the pandemic could affect mental and behavioral health trends, and believes the U.S. should be developing policies to prevent further deaths of despair.

"We need to make sure that people have easy access to high quality health insurance, where behavioral health is linked in with the physical treatment that they're receiving," he stresses.

Auerbach notes that American Indians, Asians, blacks, Latinos and older adults all experienced increases in drug-induced deaths between 2017 and 2018.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - WI