Opioid Addiction and Suicide Rate Up Sharply in U.S.
When people are afraid to get on an airplane, friends may comfort them by saying that many more people die in motor vehicle accidents than in airplane crashes. It seems incomprehensible to think that someone could say, “And even more people die by suicide.” But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that is, in fact, the case.
In a recent issue of the CDCs Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents in 2010 was listed at 33,687, while the number of people who committed suicide was 38,364. Researchers noted that the majority of Americans taking their own lives were in the baby boomer generation. Economic problems, easier accessibility to opioids and stresses caused by care-giving are just some of the suspected causes of the suicide increase in this generation.
Suicide rates climbed most alarmingly in the baby boomer generation. In the 10-year study period, women in their 60s had a 60 percent increase in suicides (eight per 100,000) while men in their 50s had a 50 percent increase (27 per 100,000).
Researchers speculate on multiple reasons for the spike in the suicide rate. Baby boomers are arriving at reflective ages where some of them are not satisfied with where they are in their life. Life’s pressures and problems seem to prove too much for some.
Multiple problems and pressures may be pushing the American suicide rate higher. Financial loss or strain is just one possible reason for a feeling of hopelessness that may lead to suicide. Researchers believe that other problems may be caused by the overuse and easy accessibility of prescription painkillers. Opioid addiction is also rising in this country.
Being a caregiver for an aging parent while also taking care of a child who has returned home after college can also take a toll on boomer parents. While that age group is supporting family both older and younger than themselves, who is supporting them?
CDC representatives stress that the suicide rate may decline if more prevention programs and support is offered to those at risk for suicide. Sometimes it is not just one of the above mentioned problems or pressures—it is a combination. These complex reasons can be better sorted out with the guidance of professionals
Not only should at-risk individuals be helped, but so should those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Support groups to help those survivors can help the next generation learn to live through the pain and not give up hope in their own lives.
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