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Suicide Overtakes Car Accidents as Leading Cause of Injury-Related Death

Depressed Girl

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  • The primary risk factor for suicide is depression in combination with substance abuse, and this could include alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs. An estimated 90 percent of those who end up taking their own lives fit into this category
  • Suicide has overtaken traffic accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the US. The rate of suicide rose by 15 percent between 2000 and 2009, and poisoning (the number one cause of which is prescription drugs) rose by a whopping 128 percent. Some estimate as many as 20 percent of drug overdoses labeled as “accidental” may actually be intentional suicides
  • Thirty-six percent of overdoses involve prescription opioid painkillers, which cause more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates tend to rise and fall along with recessions and economic booms. In Greece, the suicide rate among men increased more than 24 percent from 2007 to 2009, and in Italy, suicides motivated by economic difficulties have increased 52 percent between 2005 and 2010
  • Another important factor is poor health, which can stretch already strained finances to the very limit. And then there’s excessive use of multiple prescription drugs. Polypharmacy can have a devastating effect on both physical and mental health, including increased risk of depression, physical accidents like falls, and/or self-harm, along with symptoms that may otherwise exacerbate depression
  • “Red Flags” to help identify suicidal ideation, emergency help information, as well as long-term (non-acute) strategies to help boost your mental and emotional resilience are listed

By Dr. Mercola

A recent report on causes of death shows that suicide has now overtaken traffic accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the US. One reason for that is because car accident occurrences are down. But even so, the rate of suicide rose by an unhealthy 15 percent between 2000 and 2009, and poisoning (the number one cause of which is prescription drugs) rose by a whopping 128 percent.


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