Mar 6, 2019 - Health

Deaths by suicide, drugs and alcohol reached an all-time high in 2017

Data: CDC and Census Bureau; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios
Data: CDC and Census Bureau; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

In 2017, more than 151,000 Americans died of suicide or causes related to drugs or alcohol — the highest rate in U.S. history, according to a new study by Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust.

Why it matters: The study projects that the three epidemics are on track to kill 1.6 million Americans by 2025. Life expectancy has already fallen in the U.S. three years in a row largely due to these trends, while the global average life expectancy continues to rise.

  • Montana had the highest rate in suicide in 2017 at 29.6 deaths per 100,000.
  • West Virginia — which was hard hit by the opioid crisis — had the highest rate of drug-related deaths at 56.3 of every 100,000.
  • New Mexico had the highest alcohol-related death rate at 31.6 out of every 100,000 .

The big picture: The drug and suicide epidemics have hit rural America hardest, at the same time that blue collar jobs are disappearing and technology and automation is transforming the workforce.

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