Suicide Rates on Rise in U.S.

In a new report by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) they indicate that suicide rates are on the rise in the United States and have been increasing in number since the year 2000.

In fact, from 1999 to 2015, approximately 600,000 U.S. residents died by suicide, with 2015 being the deadliest year. Interestingly, the groups that are ranked highest are not those from the big cities, instead they are from the rural areas.  Further, the ethnic groups dealing with the increase in suicides the most is the Native Americans and those who are white.

Of note is that the report shows a steady climb with a spike around the year 2008.  In speculating why this spike occurred, one thought is that it may have been due to the pressures of the financial recession that occurred in our country at that same time.  Many individuals felt hopeless and stressed in their financial predicaments when businesses were closing their doors and the stock market plummeted.  In more detail is the fact that the rural communities suffered more in the recession due to poverty and social isolation along with less mental health treatment facilities and that may explain why the rates of suicide there are higher.

Further, since the year 2000, the CDC points out that men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women and the rate worsened in almost all categories assessed after 2008.

The findings of the CDC indicate that more mental health institutions need to be available in rural areas to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts.  The opioid crisis doesn’t help either along with other drug issues and the rural communities have been especially hard hit by that as well.  Finding solutions and having more preventative help in place for these ethnic groups, and in rural locations would be helpful in combating the increasing rate of suicides in the United States.


Top 10 Drugs that are causing overdoses:

. When one’s metabolism cannot detoxify fast enough due to drugs being consumed in large quantities, inadvertent and adverse effects can occur, including overdose. Further, more and more individuals are overdosing on prescription drugs although stereotypically people still think of overdoses in relation to street drugs.

Several studies show that the following drugs are the most commonly abused which result in overdose. Although there is a small amount of variance among the last 5, the first 5 are almost always ranked accordingly.   A recent study conducted by the National Vital Statistics Reports (NVSS), a branch of the CDC, entitled Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2010-14, indicates that the top 10 drugs involved in lethal overdoses were (in order):




Alprazolam (Xanax)






Diazepam (used to treat anxiety)

Also noteworthy, researchers at the CDC found that deaths from heroin overdose tripled during the last 5 years, and deaths from methamphetamine abuse more than doubled. Deaths involving fentanyl, a commonly abused drug for treating pain, also doubled — in just one year, from 2013 to 2014.

Source: Warner M, Trinidad JP, Bastian BA, et al. Drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths: United States, 2010–2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.

parkcityoverdosePossible Pink Overdoses in 2 Utah Teens

Police in Park City, Utah are making parents aware of the dangers of a new synthetic drug called U-47700, more commonly known as “pink” or “pinky” after the recent deaths of two Jr. high students. Although the police have yet to confirm that the deaths and the drug pink are related, they will say that they’ve received information over social media that indicates that it could be the case. They are awaiting toxicology reports, which could take up to 8 weeks.

School officials say that the info they received via social media indicates that the drug comes as a crushed powder in small packages. The powder can be colored pink but is not always colored pink. The reason it is called pink is because they sniff it with their pinky fingers. Pink can be easily purchased online and has not yet been deemed illegal because it is so new. Because of that, kids might not think it is even harmful or dangerous. Awareness is key—police say to check your kid’s backpacks and any other small containers or bags they carry with them. Further, police warn that parents should be wary of anything shipped to their kids from overseas – especially China.

The Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center sent out the following warning, “The synthetic opioid (pink)… is growing in popularity with recreational drug users throughout the United States…[and] is readily available for purchase on the internet; primarily from Chinese suppliers.”

PARK CITY, Utah — The Park City Police Department and Park City School District have issued an alert about the synthetic drug U-47700, more commonly known as “pink” or “pinky.”

Authorities said two fatal overdoses in Salt Lake County and Iron County have been attributed to the drug.

Now two teens may bring the death total to four.

Officials have not identified the victims however, the Park City School District posted a message on Facebook stating the Park City Police Dept. is investigating the death of two 13-year-old students from Treasure Mountain Junior High.

That post came around the same time the district sent out the drug warning Tuesday.

Police have not confirmed if the students died from an overdose.


Authorities are waiting on toxicology reports to determine how the teens died.

However, the school district and police warned parents about the drug during a news conference where they confirmed the teens’ deaths.

Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center said, “The synthetic opioid… is growing in popularity with recreational drug users throughout the United States…[and] is readily available for purchase on the internet; primarily from Chinese suppliers.”

The drug is so new it is not yet illegal to buy.

Officials said the substance is extremely toxic, even in small doses.

Police are are asking anyone to contact local law enforcement if you come in contact with the drug.

Warning from Park City Police:

Read the full article on Fox 13

RiseInHeroinOverdoseRise in Heroin overdoses in the US

Recently, much attention has been focused on the rise in heroin related deaths in the United States. A US Federal Health report published this past fall indicates that heroin overdoses doubled from 2010 to 2012. This reports contained data collected from 28 states, accounting for 56% of the US population. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the large increase in heroin-related deaths is directly tied to the epidemic of narcotic painkiller abuse.

Dr. Len Paulozzi, the study’s co-author, said that, “There is a growing population of people who are using narcotics, whether the prescription variety or heroin.” He further indicates that the overprescribing for the past 20 years of painkillers such as Oxycotin and Vcodin is responsible for the increase in heroin use and overdoses.

Steven Reinberg wrote in Healthy Day that, “Previous research showed that from 2009 to 2012, there was a 74 percent increase in the number of people aged 12 and older.”

This and other frightening facts about the increase of heroin use are showing up in communities and cities all over the US. The CDC report indicates that the worst affected areas are in the Northwest and the Southern parts of the US, but that the entire country is affected.

For instance, just last week,’s Carol Robinson reported that, “Heroin deaths in Jefferson County jumped about 140 percent in 2014 in what authorities say is a steadily-growing epidemic not likely to end anytime soon. There were 123 confirmed heroin deaths countywide as of Dec. 29, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. There are at least 18 more suspected heroin deaths, including several this week. Investigators are awaiting toxicology test results to confirm the cause in those cases but all evidence points to heroin.”

Robinson further reported that, “The issue isn’t unique to Jefferson County. Both Shelby and Tuscaloosa counties have seen spikes as well, as have communities nationwide. “

“When Birmingham police go out into these areas where there is high violent crime, they’re falling all over heroin,” U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said earlier this year… It is also in Gardendale, Fultondale, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Hoover and at the University of Alabama.” The report further indicates deaths in many other areas of Alabama as well.

Further, reports that, “Over the past three years, the average age of heroin-related deaths in Jefferson County was 36. Of the victims, 88 percent were white.”

Another interesting point to come out of the research by Paulozzi and his colleagues is that deaths from heroin overdose also vary by age. He indicates that the research shows that deaths from heroin overdose have climbed 120 percent among those 45 to 54 and about 109 percent among those 25 to 34.

Solving this rising epidemic of heroin overdose begins with stopping the addiction to narcotic painkillers through the reducing the prescriptions to such drugs. For those already struggling with addiction, Paulozzi said that increased availability to heroin addiction treatment is key. If those struggling with addiction to heroin don’t receive help, their risks of ending up in a fatal overdose climb significantly.

Most often, a heroin abuser previously abused some type of prescription drugs. At some point prescription drugs become harder to get, are more expensive and provide less of a high. Heroin becomes an easy alternative because it is cheaper, easy to obtain and provides an acceptable or better high. Because the demand for heroin has increased, the price has been driven down by the competition.

Availability, purity and the pursuit of a higher high are also to blame for the increase in the numbers of overdoses.

Heroin is entering into rural and non-urban areas. Many of these areas are where the huge increases of heroin overdoses are occurring. It is vital that there is treatment and recovery help in every area for those addicted to heroin to stop the rise in fatality associated with this deadly drug.

Jefferson County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Randy Christian said, “Heroin is extremely addictive and addicts struggle with rehab efforts, relapsing frequently. Abusers don’t know the chemical make-up or purity of what they’re injecting or snorting and sadly the increasing outcome of their addiction is overdose, and more frequently than ever, death.”

Further, prevention is key in stopping the spread of heroin addiction. In order to prevent the increase in addiction, the medical community must prescribe much more carefully and cautiously. Sadly, most believe that the problems associated with heroin will only rise as it becomes more available and turf wars begin over the demand for the drug.

Celebrities and Drug Overdose

The New York Times reports, “Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose — with a hypodermic needle still stuck in his arm and 70 baggies of the drug inside his Greenwich Village pad Sunday, authorities said. He was 46…. Hoffman — a versatile and prolific actor famed for his vivid portrayals of troubled souls — had repeatedly struggled with substance abuse. He spent 10 days in rehab last year for abusing prescription pills and heroin after 23 years of sobriety.” (

This tragic news came as a shock to many who loved the Academy Award winning Capote and recent Hunger Games Hollywood star, just as many have been shocked about previous celebrity drug overdose related deaths.  The occurrence of celebrity drug overdose, which some feel is on the rise, begs the question, “Are celebrities more prone to addiction than non-celebrities?”

Perhaps they are.  Celebrities are certainly surrounded by the rich and famous, and Hollywood/pop culture often includes drug users.  Also, they often have a lot of money and cash is important and essential for an addict.  However, most would argue that celebrities are not more prone to drug abuse, but we definitely hear about it when they succumb to drug use.  Either way, drug overdose is always tragic, whether it involves a celebrity or not.


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