By Ralph E. Jones
Posted: Sunday, March 26, 2017
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe, American Author, 1811-1896According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 45,000 individuals commit suicide each year in the United States; that is about 121 suicides per day.
It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. For every suicide there are 25 failed attempts, and the number of admissions to hospitals for suicidal attempts is close to 500,000 per year.
Contrary to popular belief, the rates of suicide are highest in age groups among adults ages 45-64; the majority, 7 out of 10, being males (although females have the highest numbers of suicide attempts).
Of primary concern, and the reason behind writing this article, is the growing numbers of suicides among our young people and military veterans, ages 15 to 24 in particular. The Veterans Administration reports that approximately 22 veterans commit suicide every day. These are the highest rates since the VA began keeping record of such, and is a much higher number than in the general population.
In the general population of civilians, there is a growing number of youth committing suicide as well, primarily as a result of increase use of opioids, and the resultant overdose on opioids; which has blossomed into a national crisis.
In a report released this month by the Veterans Administration, a study of veterans use of drugs and alcohol as related to suicide, it was found that Veterans who have drug and/or alcohol problems are more than twice as likely to die by suicide as their comrades; and women Veterans with substance use disorders have an even higher rate of suicide — more than five times that of their peers.
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