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U.S. Experienced Highest Ever Combined Rates of Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs, and Suicide During the COVID-19 Pandemic

U.S. Experienced Highest Ever Combined Rates of Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs, and Suicide During the COVID-19 Pandemic
PR Newswire
WASHINGTON, May 24, 2022

Deaths spanned ages, racial and ethnic groups and geography but disproportionately harmed ce…

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U.S. Experienced Highest Ever Combined Rates of Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs, and Suicide During the COVID-19 Pandemic

PR Newswire

Deaths spanned ages, racial and ethnic groups and geography but disproportionately harmed certain young people and people of color

Solutions are known and must be implemented

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Deaths associated with alcohol, drugs, and suicide took the lives of 186,763 Americans in 2020, a 20 percent one year increase in the combined death rate and the highest number of substance misuse deaths ever recorded for a single year, according to a report released today by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and Well Being Trust. In addition, provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show drug overdose deaths continued to increase in 2021.

While alcohol, drug, and suicide deaths have been increasing for decades, the 2020 increase was unprecedented and driven by a 30 percent increase in the rate of drug-induced deaths and a 27 percent increase in the rate of alcohol-induced deaths. Combined rates of alcohol, drug, and suicide deaths increased in all 50 states except New Hampshire, and for the first time two states – West Virginia and New Mexico – surpassed 100 deaths per 100,000 state residents from alcohol, drugs, and suicide combined in a single year.

  • The overall drug-induced death rate increased by 30 percent, largely driven by increases in deaths due to use of synthetic opioids and psychostimulants. The rate of drug-induced death rose for all but one population group – those over 75 years of age. There were particularly large increases in communities of color, among youth (17 years old and younger) and young adults (18-34 years of age) and in the South and West regions of the country.
  • Alcohol-induced death rates increased by 27 percent, and the increase spanned demographic groups and parts of the country, including in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Increases were particularly high among young adults, American Indians/Alaska Native and Asian communities, and for those living in the Midwest.
  • Overall suicide rates declined by 3 percent but that trend was not universal. The decline occurred among white people but suicide deaths for the year increased among American Indian, Black, and Latino people. Suicide rates for adults ages 35-74, declined, but rates for youth and young adults increased.

"With the trends continuing to go in the wrong direction we must ask ourselves, what will it take to move to robust and comprehensive action? The story behind these data is beyond devastating and heartbreaking to those families who have suffered loss," said Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, President, Well Being Trust. "Let's begin to address this crisis with the urgency it deserves by bringing care to where people are. From schools to primary care to our workplaces, let's ensure that all places are equipped to address mental health and substance misuse. This is not just the responsibility of the mental health and addiction field – but all our responsibility."

TFAH and Well Being Trust have been reporting alcohol-induced, drug-induced and suicide deaths as part of their Pain in the Nation initiative since 2017. In the initiative's inaugural 2017 report, alcohol, drug and suicide deaths accounted for 55,403 deaths per year, as compared to the 186,763 deaths associated with alcohol, drugs or suicide in this year's report. According to the report authors and other experts, the stunning increase in alcohol and drug deaths in 2020 was exacerbated by: a continued rise in synthetic opioid and psychostimulant overdoses and the anxiety, stress, grief, disruption to substance misuse recovery programs, and financial hardship many individuals and families experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report includes recommendations for steps the federal, state, and local governments should take to begin to reverse the deaths of despair crisis. They include:

Invest in programs that promote health and prevent substance misuse and suicide:

  • Support in-school programs focused on students' mental health and preventing substance use.
  • Strengthen trauma-informed and culturally competent and linguistically appropriate programs within all youth-serving agencies, including the juvenile justice system.
  • Strengthen the continuum of crisis intervention programs with a focus on the newly established "988" lifeline.
  • Expand CDC comprehensive suicide-prevention efforts, including measures to strengthen economic supports, promote connectedness, and create protective environments.
  • Build programs that address the social determinants of health and promote resilience in children, families and communities including those focused on the prevention of adverse childhood experiences.

Address the substance misuse and overdose crises:

  • Promote harm-reduction policies to reduce overdose and blood-borne infections, including increasing access to syringe service programs, naloxone, and fentanyl test strips.
  • Preserve and extend programs that create more flexible access to substance use disorder treatment during the pandemic.
  • Direct funding from the opioid litigation settlement to primary prevention of youth substance misuse.
  • Lower excessive alcohol use through policies that limit where and when alcohol can be served/purchased and by the use of alcohol excise taxes.

Transform the mental health and substance misuse prevention system

  • Increase access to mental health and substance use treatment through full enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
  • Combat stigma about mental health issues and access to service.
  • Modernize physical and mental health services by aligning service delivery, provider payment, quality measures, and training toward the whole health of individuals and integrated care.
  • Build grassroots community capacity for early identification and intervention for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders, including through community-based or non-traditional settings.

"It is imperative that officials at every level of government act on the recommended policies in this report. The data are shockingly clear – lives are at risk in every community due to alcohol, drugs, and suicide and communities that experience disadvantage because of long-standing social, economic and environmental inequities suffer a disproportionate impact. There is an urgent need for action in order to save lives," said J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., MSCE, President and CEO of the Trust for America's Health.

Read the full report at: https://www.tfah.org/report-details/pain-in-the-nation-2022

Trust for America's Health is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes optimal health for every person and community and makes the prevention of illness and injury a national priority. 

Well Being Trust is an impact philanthropy dedicated to advancing the mental, social, and spiritual health of the nation.

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-experienced-highest-ever-combined-rates-of-deaths-due-to-alcohol-drugs-and-suicide-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-301552480.html

SOURCE Trust for America's Health

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Economics

The One Housing Chart That Shows A ‘Buyer’s Market’ Has Returned

The One Housing Chart That Shows A ‘Buyer’s Market’ Has Returned

The red hot pandemic-era housing market is cooling as historically tight…

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The One Housing Chart That Shows A 'Buyer's Market' Has Returned

The red hot pandemic-era housing market is cooling as historically tight available inventory shows signs of reversing. 

An affordability crisis has removed millions of new home buyers as the number of active US listings soared 18.7% in June from a year earlier, the most significant increase in Realtor.com's data going back to 2017, according to Bloomberg. The days of insane bidding wars, waiving home inspections, and putting in an offer 20% or more over the list price appear to be over. In other words, a buyer's market could be emerging. 

"While we anticipate that more inventory will eventually cool the feverish pace of competition, the typical buyer has yet to see meaningful relief from quick-selling homes and record-high asking prices," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. 

Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Raleigh, North Carolina saw active listings more than double from a year ago. Nashville, Tennessee, active listings jumped 86%, and 72% in the Riverside, California. 

The Federal Reserve's most aggressive tightening campaign sent the 30-year fixed-loan mortgage rate from 3% to over 6% this year (back in March, we warned coming rate explosion would trigger a housing affordability crisis), removing millions of new home buyers who can't afford the cost of homeownership as the median existing-home sales price was around $407k in May. 

Even though inventory is historically tight, supply is expected to increase in markets across the country as demand for loan applications among prospective buyers slumps. Fewer buyers equal more inventory. 

The takeaway is that inventory is rising as homes stay on the market longer because demand evaporated thanks to the housing affordability crisis -- this could mean a housing top is nearing. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 18:50

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Economics

States Need To Avoid ‘Cures’ That Can Make Inflation Worse

States Need To Avoid ‘Cures’ That Can Make Inflation Worse

Authored by Regina M. Egea and Danielle Zanzalari via RealClearPolicy.com,

Across…

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States Need To Avoid 'Cures' That Can Make Inflation Worse

Authored by Regina M. Egea and Danielle Zanzalari via RealClearPolicy.com,

Across the United States, state governments are awash in cash. In a sharp contrast, American taxpayers are enduring a rate of inflation unseen in four decades, with the costs of everything from food to gasoline at record highs.

In our home state of New Jersey, Trenton is looking at an unprecedented surplus of $8 billion through a combination of increased tax revenue, federal pandemic aid and borrowing.

A natural impulse among residents and policymakers is to offer residents “relief” in the form of rebate checks.

The reality is that relying exclusively on rebates or direct cash transfers to individuals will only lead to more inflation as this puts more money in consumers’ hands exacerbating the same problem as today - too many dollars chasing too few goods.

Rather, it is prudent that states focus on long-term investment and responsible budgeting to ensure economic growth now and in the future. This is especially important in high tax, big spending states due to the greater flexibility in work arrangements that have exposed the reality that wealth is mobile.

With more residents fleeing high tax states to low tax states, states will need to reevaluate their tax and regulatory climate to stay competitive. 

Regulation can raise the costs for consumers and slow job growth. A series of studies shows the regulation raises prices and worsens poverty.

Working with local governments to revisit restrictive laws that contribute to higher housing prices, such as building height restrictions and zoning rules, as well as removing unnecessary restrictions on business operations will lead to more economic growth.

Another way states can aid productivity and long-term economic growth with their temporary budget surplus, is to fund training programs for middle-skilled jobs.

Nearly every industry has experienced labor shortages and that reality is especially acute in trades like auto, refrigeration, HVAC, electrical, welding, and manufacturing.

States can invest in these skills through high school and vocational school programs. With college borrowing costs astronomically high, this encourages individuals to pursue careers that are lucrative and budget friendly, as well as fill the over 75,000 job openings that our state of New Jersey is projected to need in just a few years.

To further long-term economic growth many states should also concentrate on fixing their unfunded pension liabilities for public employees. This impacts red and blue states alike, with massive liabilities in California ($1.53 trillion), Illinois ($533.72 billion), Texas ($529.70 billion), New York ($508.70 billion) and Ohio ($429.53 billion). Here in New Jersey, our liability is nearly $40,000 for every resident of the state, which can dramatically deter future growth. Beyond using some of states’ budget surplus to shore up pension liabilities, states should move public employees to defined contribution plans, which are used by more than 100 million Americans. These are found to have better investment returns than state-wide pension plans and cost taxpayers less.

Our final recommendation is perhaps our most important: Save for a rainy day. If the U.S. economy enters into a recession, this will mean fewer jobs and less tax revenue for states. To prepare for the future when states again face a budget shortfall, which may be sooner than we think, states should follow best practices of reserving 10% of their budget in a rainy day fund, to sustain essential programs should a downturn occur in the future.

As state leaders consider their budgets, they should focus on long-term economic growth initiatives. Proposals like funding middle-skilled job trainings ensure workers are ready for the next decade, whereas eliminating unnecessary regulations and focusing on pro-growth tax reforms encourages residents to build businesses and create jobs. Lastly, taking care of state finances by properly funding state employees’ retirement plans and saving for a rainy day will ensure that no state is left behind in the next economic downturn.

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 17:50

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Spread & Containment

Aging-US | Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver

BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone…

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BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver.”

Credit: Hillje et al.

BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver.”

Aging is known to involve epigenetic histone modifications, which are associated with transcriptional changes, occurring throughout the entire lifespan of an individual.

“So far, no study discloses any drift of histone marks in mammals which is time-dependent or influenced by pro-longevity caloric restriction treatment.”

To detect the epigenetic drift of time passing, researchers—from Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, University of Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’, University of Milan, and University of Padua—determined the genome-wide distributions of mono- and tri-methylated lysine 4 and acetylated and tri-methylated lysine 27 of histone H3 in the livers of healthy 3, 6 and 12 months old C57BL/6 mice. 

“In this study, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing technology to acquire 108 high-resolution profiles of H3K4me3, H3K4me1, H3K27me3 and H3K27ac from the livers of mice aged between 3 months and 12 months and fed 30% caloric restriction diet (CR) or standard diet (SD).”

The comparison of different age profiles of histone H3 marks revealed global redistribution of histone H3 modifications with time, in particular in intergenic regions and near transcription start sites, as well as altered correlation between the profiles of different histone modifications. Moreover, feeding mice with caloric restriction diet, a treatment known to retard aging, reduced the extent of changes occurring during the first year of life in these genomic regions.

“In conclusion, while our data do not establish that the observed changes in H3 modification are causally involved in aging, they indicate age, buffered by caloric restriction, releases the histone H3 marking process of transcriptional suppression in gene desert regions of mouse liver genome most of which remain to be functionally understood.”

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204107 

Corresponding Author: Marco Giorgio – marco.giorgio@unipd.it 

Keywords: epigenetics, aging, histones, ChIP-seq, diet

Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article:  https://aging.altmetric.com/details/email_updates?id=10.18632%2Faging.204107

About Aging-US:

Launched in 2009, Aging (Aging-US) publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways.

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For media inquiries, please contact media@impactjournals.com.

Aging (Aging-US) Journal Office
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Orchard Park, NY 14127
Phone: 1-800-922-0957, option 1

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