Drugs, Alcohol and Suicide Top Diabetes in Causes of Death in the US

Posted: October 11, 2018

a bottle of pills

In the United States, self-injury deaths caused by drugs, alcohol and suicide have officially become more prevalent than deaths caused by diabetes.

An Increase in Drug, Alcohol and Suicide-Related Deaths in Recent Years

In 2014, the rate of self-injury deaths rose to 24 per 100,000 people. This matched the diabetes mortality rate at the time, according to Hilary S. Connery, MD, PhD, a clinical director of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital and a co-author of “Mortality in the United States.” Eighty percent of accidental drug intoxication deaths and ninety percent of corresponding undetermined intent deaths among individuals 15 years and older were assumed to be deaths from drug self-intoxication. And, according to the Commonwealth Fund, the combined number of deaths caused by drugs, alcohol or suicide in the United States per 100,000 people had increased by 51 percent from 2005 to 2016. The latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that non-suicidal drug overdose deaths and suicide deaths combined now exceed diabetes with rates of 29.1 per 100,000 – a jump from 24.8 just two years ago in 2016.

Ensure Your Workplace is Drug-Free

Do you have a drug screening process in place as part of your employment screening program? Incorporating drug testing for new hires can help ensure your new employees are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they join your team. Info Cubic can help you navigate regulations involving drug screening and help your organization incorporate a compliant drug screening process into your onboarding efforts. Random drug testing programs can also make sure your current employees stay alcohol and drug-free at work. Random drug testing is required for all organizations that are regulated by the Department of Transportation, and Info Cubic offers a statistically valid, computer-generated, random selection process that is fair, equitable and confidential.

How to Access Resources that Can Prevent Self-Injury Deaths

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, help is available 24 hours a day, every day through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be reached at 800.273.8255. The lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources. It also offers an online live chat feature, and a map of crisis centers can be found here.