Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Play

The American Rescue Plan could provide essential training to boost jobs in construction, and we explore a trauma-informed approach to preventing marijuana use in teens.

Play

Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11, travel restrictions soon will ease for vaccinated international visitors to the U.S., and a Texas doctor who performed an abortion under new restrictions is sued.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Drug Overdose Deaths Are Down. Will COVID-19 Trigger an Increase?

Play

Wednesday, May 27, 2020   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- 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.

For the first time in two decades, said John Auerbach, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health, U.S. deaths from drug overdoses, alcohol abuse and suicide leveled off in 2018. However, he warned that minority communities with lower wages typically report the highest numbers of preventable deaths, and that unemployment due to COVID-19 could reverse progress made in reducing drug abuse.

"The loss of a job, unstable housing, a relationship breakup," he said. "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."

The United States' overall opioid death rate dropped by 2% from 2017 to 2018, but the death rate for synthetic opioids increased 10% nationwide. In New Mexico, 63% of drug-overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018, a total of 338, which is one of the highest state percentages in the nation.

The study also showed a 51% increase in preventable deaths from drugs and suicide over the past decade. Auerbach said the pandemic could affect mental and behavioral health trends, and believes the United States 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," he said, "where behavioral health is linked in with the physical treatment that they're receiving."

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


get more stories like this via email

Food prices are rising nationwide, and the cost of a grocery store trip is up 3.5% from a year ago, according to a USDA report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…


Environment

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …

Social Issues

MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …


Advocates are calling on state and federal lawmakers to shift policies, such as replacing the term "playground" with "outdoor learning environment" in regulations to support the creation of more nature-based spaces. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …

Environment

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…

More than 80% of Nevada is public land owned by the federal government, which is charged with managing it for the public's benefit. (Kurt Kuznicki)

Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …

Environment

DULUTH, Minn. - As Minnesota looks to address the impact of climate change on the region, land managers and policymakers are reminded of the role …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021