A new study finds “diseases of despair,” including alcohol and drug misuse and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, rose dramatically in the United States between 2009 and 2018.
Overall, diseases of despair rose 170% during this period, HealthDay reports. Alcohol misuse increased in all age groups, except for those under 18, the researchers report in BMJ Open. In people ages 55 to 74, alcohol misuse increased 59%.
Suicidal thinking and behaviors increased 287% among people under age 18. Among those ages 18 to 34, the rate rose by 210%.
“Over the past 10 years, diagnoses related to drug and alcohol misuse and suicidal thoughts and behaviors have increased across the board for men and women in all age groups,” said lead researcher Emily Brignone of Highmark Health in Pittsburgh, an insurance company. The study included 12 million Americans insured by Highmark.