Deaths due to alcohol, drugs, and suicide claimed the lives of 209-thousand-225 Americans in 2021 and the rate of such deaths rose 11 percent over the previous year, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health. The increased numbers included men, women, and all ages, races, and geographic groups.
Between 2010 and 2021 the youth suicide rate increased by a tragic 71 percent. Unlike for other age groups, an increase in suicide deaths among young people was the primary driver for the age group’s increased mortality. American Indian/Alaska Native and LGBTQ youth are most at risk for poor mental health and suicidal behaviors. Overall, the 2021 increases are part of a two-decade trend of sharply increasing numbers of deaths due to substance misuse and suicide in the U.S. The 2021 data showed such deaths were up across the U.S. population but included the largest increases among certain communities of color, and people living in the South, West, and rural regions of the country.