Deaths from drugs, alcohol, suicide expected to rise, report says | KOB 4
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Deaths from drugs, alcohol, suicide expected to rise, report says

Emily Jaceks
November 24, 2017 06:39 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A new report finds some troubling news for New Mexico's future.

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The Trust for America's Health predicts the number of deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicides will increase substantially over the next decade.

“There's a lot of great resources out there, but we do have a lot of needs still and the resources out there are just not enough,” said Wendy Linebrink-Allison with the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line.

The organization found from 2006 to 2015, 1 million people died nationally from all three causes. That's one person every four minutes. If that current trend holds, those mortality numbers will rise rapidly, especially in New Mexico.

In 2015, New Mexico had 77 deaths due to drugs, alcohol and suicides per 100,000 people. By 2025, the organization predicted that'll climb to nearly 106 deaths, the highest in the country. Those numbers may be conservative considering the rapid rise of opioid use.

“I mean, suicide is a very preventable disease. But unfortunately, until we start addressing some of these other issues I just mentioned, we are just going to create a space where people feel hopeless and helpless and worthless,” Linebrink-Allison said.

But there is hope. The Pain in the Nation report finds more can be done to reduce the number of deaths, but it will take systematic change. That's something Linebrink-Allison agrees with.

“The way we can prevent suicide in the community is by making sure there are community resources,” she said. “A community center to go to, a shelter that's available, those sorts of things.”

The Pain in the Nation report can be found here.

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Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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