Premature deaths among young American adults have spiked due to drug overdoses in suburban areas, a new report has warned.
Researchers found that among those aged 25 to 44, not only were drug overdose deaths up in 2015, but premature deaths as well.
In 2015, more than 1.2 million people died prematurely, 39,700 more than in the previous year.The report, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, showed that the US drug overdose epidemic has no signs of slowing down.
Between 2000 and 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses, and the majority (55 percent) occurred from 2009 to 2015.
But these deaths aren’t taking place in big cities.
Research found that large suburban metro counties went from having the lowest rate of premature death due to drug overdose to the highest rate within the past decade.The report shows ‘where people live plays a key role in how long and how well they live,’ Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, a physician and RWJF’s CEO, told USA Today.
Because of the spike between 2014 and 2015, drug overdose is the leading cause of death.
More potential years of life are lost from overdoses than from any other injury death.But they have yet to overtake deaths from motor vehicles crashes, homicides, and suicides in terms of sheer volume
Almost three times as many people between ages 15 and 24 from those three factors than from drug overdoses.
Additionally, youth and young adults living in rural areas had the highest rates of injury death due to suicide or unintentional injuries, while those living in urban areas had the highest rates of homicide but lower rates of injury death overall.A rural and urban divide, along with racial differences, were also evident in the data.Young white adults in rural areas were found more likely to die by suicide or overdose, while homicides from firearms were much more common for young black victims.
From 2014 to 2015, about 85 percent of the increase in premature deaths was attributed to a rapid increase in deaths among people aged 15 to 44.
These young people are a ‘largely invisible’ population that represent an ‘untapped social and economic opportunity,’ Marjory Givens, an associate scientist with RWJF’s county health program, told USA Today.
This year, the RWJF report added a measure of disconnected youth, which is defined as those from ages 16 to 24 who are not in school and not working.
There are currently about 4.9 million – that’s one in eight – who make up disconnected youth.
Rates are higher in rural counties and highest among American Indian/Alaskan Native, black and Hispanic youth.
It’s ‘easier to prevent’ young people from becoming disconnected than to ‘try to reengage young people who have dropped out of school or gone without work for some time’, Givens said.
The report has urged for several preventive measures to make sure these kids don’t become part of future statistics.
This includes increasing community and school-based services to raise attendance and high school graduation rates as well as providing employment experiences that will help prepare youth and young adults to get and keep good jobs.
Premature deaths among young American adults has spiked due to drug overdoses in suburban areas, a new report has warned, leading to about 581 years of potential life lost per 100,000 people
In 2015, injury deaths among American youths most commonly occurred due to motor vehicle crashes and firearms, followed by drug overdoses
Despite drug overdose being the leading cause of death among young adults, almost three times as many people between 15 and 24 died by homicide, suicide or in motor vehicle crashes
A rural and urban divide, along with racial differences, were also evident in the data. Young white adults in rural areas were more likely to die by suicide or overdose, while homicides by firearms were much more common for young black victims