Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Well Being Trust (WBT) released a new report Thursday which reveals that deaths due to alcohol and drug misuse and suicide have increased dramatically among 18 to 34 year-olds.
“When we look just at the last 10 years for millennials, we’ve seen an increase in drug related deaths of 108%,” said John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health. “Alcohol deaths, usually not something we see in people this young, are up almost 70% and suicides are up by about 35%.”
The Kansas-specific numbers are also alarming.
“In just one year, 2017, that’s the most recent year that data has been released, there were more than 1000 deaths,” said Auerbach. “The increase in that one year was quite staggering. In those alcohol, drug-related and suicide deaths, the increase in just one year was almost 10%.”
What can be done from a policy perspective to effect change?
“That includes looking at a variety of policy issues, including what can be done to reduce the pressure of education debts. It means looking in the courts, where we should be thinking about alternative sentencing, where people are offered access to substance abuse treatment rather than sentencing. It means that when we have people transitioning out of military service that when they’re transitioning, their needs to be particular attention to helping them reconnect with their families.”
To read the full report in context, go to tfah.org.