White People Are Disproportionately Dying from Substance Abuse & Self Slaughter
According to a study published by Princeton economic professors Angus Deaton and Anne Case (who are happily married), Middle age Caucasians are suffering greater deaths from the end result of drug use and suicide. When compared to the Hispanic and African American communities, whose deaths from both causes are declining researchers are stumped as to why the statistics are misaligned. And no one has any clear-cut answers yet.
The New York Times reports suicide rates among the white population is four times the rate of African Americans. The same is said of death rates as a result of alcohol induced cirrhosis.
What’s more, the United States’ statistics deviate from that of other wealthy, developed countries. The question remains: Why are our middle aged, White Americans struggling to stay afloat the seas of despair?
Researchers may have found a correlation between the heightened death rates in the prescription of narcotic based pain relievers. The New York Times quotes Dr. Case,
“We don’t know which came first, were the drugs pushed so much that people are hypersensitive to pain, or does overprescription of the drugs make pain worse?”
Historically, alleged by Dr. Case, African Americans are not readily prescribed pain medications when compared to their white counterparts. She says this may explain the disparity in the statistics. Although correlation does not equate to causation, the evidence presented seems compelling. Patients requesting pain medication also reported having difficulty socializing, performing daily tasks, like shopping, were unable to sit for three hours, and who experienced trouble walking for two blocks.
Dr. Case is quoted,
“A black person has to be in a lot more pain to get a prescription. That was thought to be horrible, but now it turns out to maybe have a silver lining.”
What say you of the evidence presented? As someone who has a loved one suffering from Sciatica (one of the aliments inflicting chronic pain included in the report), I can personally attest the induction of prescription narcotics have piqued curious behaviors, some of which aren’t welcome at all. While pain killers allow those who are injured to carry out their everyday lives, how detrimental are narcotics to behavioral and mental health?
Instead of focusing on pain management we should be resolving the underlying medical problems causing the pain. Sometimes a well intentioned band-aid causes wounds to fester under the guise of immediate, short-lived resolution.
Have Rx narcotics altered the behavior of yourself or loved ones?
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.