Deaths From Drugs, Alcohol and Suicide Reach New Peaks in Communities of Color

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Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide—known as “deaths of despair”—are increasing among blacks, Latinos and Asians, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust.

While drug overdoses were still highest among whites in 2016, there were disproportionately large increases in drug deaths among racial/ethnic minority groups, particularly among black Americans, the study found.

In the previous decade, blacks had relatively low drug overdose rates — averaging 35 percent lower than whites between 2006 and 2015, NBC News reports. However, between 2015 and 2016, blacks experienced an alarming increase — of 39 percent — in drug-related deaths. That year, drug deaths increased 24 percent among Latinos and 19 percent among whites.

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