Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs and Suicide Have Soared Among Young Adults
Deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide have soared among young adults ages 18 to 34, according to a new analysis.
President Obama visited West Virginia on Wednesday, a state ravaged by one of the deadliest epidemics in the nation, to talk with leaders and listen to parents who have lost, or who have nearly lost, children to addiction, reported The New York Times.
He said of his own children, “It could be Malia or Sasha or Cary’s kids or any of our kids…Those kids don’t always look like us, don’t live in the same neighborhoods as us. They’re just as precious.”
The president began the event with a speech at the East End Family Resource Center, in which he said, “More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do from motor vehicle crashes. The majority of those overdoses involve legal prescription drugs. I don’t have to tell you, this is a terrible toll.”
To date, the administration’s efforts to address this toll have been modest, and yesterday, he announced additional measures to increase training for federal doctors and a request that federal health insurance plans address barriers to addiction treatment.
Speaking as a former smoker, the president, cited that declines in smoking rates demonstrate that progress could be made against addiction, including the need for investments in prevention and addiction treatment, saying “We’re going to have to build and fund and support more treatment centers.”
Dr. Carl R. Sullivan, the director of addiction services at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, said, of the President’s visit, “He seemed to understand it on both a scientific, political and even personal level. I’m now hopeful this administration is going to come through with the goods and give us the tools to deal with the epidemic.”