ICYMI: Suicides, alcohol, drugs: Pandemic could result in 75,000 'deaths of despair,' study says

Another important reason why we need to reopen the economy and let Californians return to work.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Isolation, unemployment and fear brought on by the coronavirus could result in 75,000 “deaths of despair” years after the worst of the pandemic is over, a new study suggests.

Deaths of despair include suicide and those related to drug or alcohol abuse, CBS News reported. A new study from Well Being Trust indicated deaths of despair have increased over the last decade, and could still increase over the next 10 years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the organization’s report.

The number of deaths of despair could range between 27,000 and 154,000 from 2020 to 2029, depending on the rate of economic recovery, Well Being Trust reported…

“Unemployment during the Great Recession was associated with an increase in suicide deaths and drug overdose deaths,” Well Being Trust reported.

A recent study indicated that a 1%increase in unemployment resulted in an increase of drug-related deaths by 3.3%, according to Well Being Trust. Nearly one-fifth of the U.S. workforce filed for unemployment benefits between March 15 and April 30, 2020, the organization reported.

“We already had a major problem on our hands,” Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, Well Being Trust’s chief strategy officer, said, according to USA Today. …

Deaths of despair have also contributed to a drop in life expectancy for American men, according to CBS. The average lifespan for men fell by four months between 2014 and 2017 to 76.1 years, CBS reported.

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