Millennials are the age group more likely to die from drugs, alcohol and suicide over the past decade, according to an analysis of the latest federal data by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust.
Drug-related deaths among people 18 to 34 increased by 108% between 2007 and 2017 while alcohol deaths were up 69% and suicides increased by 35%.
The analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data found the increases for these three “deaths of despair” combined were higher than for baby boomers and senior citizens.
Millennials make up about a third of the workforce and the military.
According to John Auerbach, CEO of the Trust for America’s Health and Massachusetts’ former health secretary, millennials are facing the usual suspects: “burdensome levels of education debt,” the cost of housing and the incredible challenge of advancing careers during the “great recession” and the opioid crisis.
Auerbach told USA Today that millennials are also parents of young children and their alcohol and drug abuse or mental illnesses are having negative impacts on multiple generations of their family.
Dennis Hobb, executive director of the D.C.-based mental health services nonprofit agency McClendon Center, told USA Today that the current disconnect in the healthcare system between getting help with both addiction and mental illness is greatly hurting millennials.
“People start doing drugs and alcohol because it’s fun and it’s fun until it isn’t anymore and at that point, it’s usually too late to stop,” Hobb told USA Today. “When they become adults, they have to have jobs and they have to play roles in their lives and they never really grow into those roles.”