The opioid crisis has become so great that it has slit a hole in our gap, which is usually about New Jersey death.
For years, public health researchers and policymakers have been watching the slow, steady progress of a positive trend: fewer and fewer people are dying of old age and old age, mostly chronic illnesses. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control for New Jersey from 2017, this is no longer the case because of two types of swelling: overdoses and suicides of drugs.
The category "accidents", which include overdoses, strokes and lungs, become diseases becoming the state's third largest killer. This increase was caused by an increase in overdoses of 21
Dr. Anna Lembke, a researcher at Stanford University, said the crisis had spared neither a geographic area nor a demographic group. This contrasts with most causes of death, which tend to affect poorer populations rather than wealthy and minority populations more than white.
"Many people were first exposed (by prescription opioids) by their physician and for health reasons, more white people were exposed to the system," Lembke said. "But the black population is beginning to catch up." A CDC report released in March said overdose deaths from blacks and Latinos are now the fastest growing category.
Suicides may be a minor murderer, but another cause for concern researchers. While lagging behind the national rate, New Jersey still rose by 36% between 2005 and 2017.
This is just a small group of residents affected by a mental illness. According to the National Drug Use and Health Survey, nearly 18% of adults had a mental illness in 2016-2017. More than 3% said they had serious suicidal thoughts.
About 11% of teenagers (12-17 years) had a major depressive episode in 2016-2017, compared to 7% in 2008-2009. "Recently, especially among female teenagers, suicide has grown alarmingly in recent years," said Phil Lubitz, deputy director of the National Alliance for Mental Illness in New Jersey.
However, suicides are still more common on men's and residents' data in the 1940s and 1950s. In conjunction with the increase in drug overdosage, the mortality trend among middle-aged residents is increasing.
"There is already data showing that mortality has risen for middle-aged Americans, having declined for 150 years," Lembke said.
Editor's note: Suicidal thoughts and behaviors can be reduced with proper mental support and treatment. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by sending TALK to 741741.
Erin Petenko can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @EPetenko . Find NJ.com on Facebook.