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Thursday, November 30, 2017

National Resilience Strategy for Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide

A new report was released, “Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Epidemics and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy,” showing that deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide could be responsible for 1.6 million fatalities through 2025. The findings of the report are probably not surprising for people familiar with the opioid addiction epidemic. In small and rural states across the country, the devastation caused by opiate use is impossible to ignore.

The report, from the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being, showed that by 2025 there could be 88.1 deaths per 100,000 from drugs, alcohol, and suicide in New Hampshire. Given the relatively small population in the Granite State, the findings are serious cause for concern.

"These numbers are staggering, tragic – and preventable," John Auerbach, president and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health, told The New Hampshire Business Review. "There is a serious crisis across the nation and solutions must go way beyond reducing the supply of opioids, other drugs and alcohol. Greater steps that promote prevention, resiliency and opportunity must be taken to address the underlying issues of pain, hopelessness and despair."


Treating Addiction Saves Lives

The Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being offered up recommendations for addressing the nation’s problem with premature death. The report suggests creating a “National Resilience Strategy,” recommending:
  • Improvements in pain management and treatment.
  • Promotion of responsible opioid prescribing practices, public education about misuse and safe disposal of unused drugs; expanding the use of rescue drugs (naloxone), sterile syringes and diversion programs.
  • Expansion and modernization of mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
There are several other recommendations, including expanding crisis-intervention services for preventing suicide, making alcohol more restrictive, and expanding the availability of mental health and other services in schools. The report is comprehensive and covers a lot of areas of importance, preventing suicide is undoubtedly on the top of the list. Taking one’s life is often the result of untreated mental illness, anything that can help prevent it is welcome.

This week, Facebook unveiled a new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help detect users at risk of suicide, TechCrunch reports. The AI will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, sending mental health resources to the user, their friends, or contact local first-responders. Facebook’s VP of product management Guy Rosen, said, “we have an opportunity to help here, so we’re going to invest in that.”


Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. We can help you learn how to live a life in recovery and cope with the obstacles of life without drugs and alcohol.

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