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Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among aged > 18 years — United States, 2015-2019

1/7/22--In 2019, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death among persons aged ≥18 years (adults). This report summarizes data on responses to questions concerning suicidal thoughts and behaviors contained in the mental health section among sampled persons aged ≥18 years in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This report summarizes 2015–2019 NSDUH data collected from 254,767 respondents regarding national-, regional-, and state-level prevalence of suicidal thoughts, planning, and attempts by age group, sex, race and ethnicity, region, state, education, marital status, poverty level, and health insurance status. Read

Fentanyl overdoses eclipse COVID-19 death toll as biggest killer of those 18-45

11/7/22--Since 2019, fentanyl overdoses have risen to become the primary killer of young adults aged 18 to 45. New data accumulated by the non-profit Families Against Fentanyl (FAF) cites the illicit drug as killing more young adults than COVID-19, car accidents, and suicide in the last two years. Now, FAF is calling for the drug to be classified as a weapon of mass destruction, which would allow more funding to fight the drug epidemic. Read

Drug overdose mortality among people experiencing homelessness, 2003 – 2018

1/7/22--In this cohort study of people experiencing homelessness, drug overdose accounted for 1 in 4 deaths, with synthetic opioid and polysubstance involvement becoming predominant contributors to mortality in recent years. These findings emphasize the importance of increasing access to evidence-based opioid overdose prevention strategies and opioid use disorder treatment among people experiencing homelessness, while highlighting the need to address both intentional and unintentional polysubstance use in this population. Read

The leading cause of death for new moms isn’t complications. It’s substance abuse

12/20/21--The leading cause of death for Hoosier women in the year following childbirth isn’t a medical complication from the delivery: It’s substance use disorder. Almost 30 women died from substance use in 2019 in Indiana. The year before, 32 women died from substance abuse during pregnancy or in the year following childbirth — over those two years, that accounts for almost half of the women who died from childbirth. Read

CDC Reports record high 12-month drug overdose death toll

10/14/21--Drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new record for the 12-month period ending March 2021, new government data shows. A record high 96,779 drug overdose deaths occurred between March 2020 and March 2021, representing a 29.6% rise, new statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics found. Read

Sturgeon’s drugs shame

8/5/21--Scotland’s drug deaths have more than doubled since Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister seven years ago and nearly tripled since her party took office. This week, the roll call of substance abuse fatalities during the SNP’s period of government is set to hit 10,000. Yet, despite that disturbing number, there has been no examination of this current unfolding tragedy. Read

Drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2020

7/30/21--This publication provides statistics of drug-related deaths registered in Scotland in 2020. This includes trends since 1996, as well as breakdowns by age, sex, substances and other factors. In 2020, there were 1,339 drug-related deaths registered in Scotland. This was 5% more than in 2019 and the largest number since records began in 1996. Deaths have increased substantially over the last 20 years – there were 4.6 times as many deaths in 2020 compared with 2000. Read

Editorial: Colorado needs this THC potency bill

7/23/21--In an editorial published in The Gazette, the Editorial Board emphasizes that the House Bill 21-1317 will shine a bright light on the darker corners of the medical marijuana industry and believes Colorado needs it to treat the marijuana industry with the seriousness it deserves. Read

Alcohol-related deaths are soaring – British drinking is out of control

7/18/21--One of the main findings from a new Public Health England analysis is that there has been a staggering 20 percent rise in alcohol-specific deaths, mainly due to alcoholic liver disease. Interestingly, 58.6 percent of people have increased their intake during the pandemic. This group reveals they are drinking more than 50 units of alcohol a week – the current cut off point used to identify a higher risk of harm. Fifty units is equivalent to 25 double gins or 25 cans of beer. Read

Drug use, alcohol blamed for excess deaths of Canadians under 65 in the last year

7/12/21--Drug use and alcohol, and not COVID-19, are largely to blame for an excess of deaths in Canadians younger than 65 from March last year to April 2021, new research suggests. The deaths pushed up the mortality rate in that category to a peak higher than what occurred in Canada during the opioid crisis in 2017, according to the research by Statistics Canada. Read

Child dies outside Manitou Springs marijuana shop

7/7/21--A child, 4, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday afternoon outside of a Manitou Springs pot shop, according to law enforcement. Deputies said they arrested the child’s parents — 25-year-old Ashlynne Perez and 26-year-old Carlos Perez — and booked them into the El Paso County Jail for alleged criminally negligent child abuse that resulted in death. Read

Editorial: Colorado needs this THC potency bill

6/23/21--The Gazette Editorial Board emphasizes the point that House Bill 21-1317 would treat the marijuana industry with the seriousness it deserves and strongly believes that Gov. Jared Polis should sign it into law. With a two-fold purpose, HB 21-1317 holds the marijuana industry to the same standard that are held for other potent medicines. Additionally, the bill’s purpose is research and education. Read

Annual deaths due to alcohol, drugs or suicide exceeded 156,000 according to the most recent data

5/18/21--Newly released data show that 156,242 Americans died due to alcohol, drugs or suicide in 2019, a record number of such deaths in a single year. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic increased stress and related substance use for many Americans. Read

Drug overdose deaths generally higher in urban counties

3/18/21--From 1999 to 2019, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased in urban and rural counties, with rates generally higher in urban counties, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Read

Mom warns about drug dealers on Snapchat after son, 16, dies from overdose

2/8/21--Dr. Laura Berman, a relationship therapist who has appeared on TODAY, is sharing a warning to parents after announcing the overdose death of her son. Berman wrote in a post, “He got the drugs (Fentanyl laced Xanax) delivered to the house. Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them.” Synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl, are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths. Read

Continued increases in overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids

2/11/21--According to an article published in JAMA, drug overdose death rates have increased in all age groups, among both sexes, across most races and ethnicities, within all urbanization levels, and in the majority of US states. This increase in overdose deaths are occurring against a backdrop of overall stable or declining rates of illicit drug use other than cannabis, underscoring that the illicit drug supply is a key driver of the current overdose crisis. Read

Methamphetamine overdose deaths in the US by sex and race and ethnicity

1/20/21--According to this study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health, US age-adjusted rates of drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine increased nearly 5-fold during 2012-2018. Although addiction outcomes can be improved with sex-specific and culturally tailored prevention and treatment interventions, the extent to which fatalities differ as functions of sex and race and ethnicity has not been analyzed, to our knowledge. Read

Methamphetamine overdose deaths rise sharply nationwide

1/20/21--Methamphetamine overdose deaths surged in an eight-year period in the United States, according to a study published today in JAMA Psychiatry. The analysis revealed rapid rises across all racial and ethnic groups, but American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest death rates overall. The research was conducted at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. Read

Increase in fatal drug overdoses across the United States driven by synthetic opioids before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

12/17/20--The recent increase in drug overdose mortality began in 2019 and continues into 2020, prior to the declaration of the COVID-19 National Emergency in the United States in March. The increases in drug overdose deaths appear to have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provisional overdose death estimates indicate that the largest monthly increases in drug overdose deaths occurred in the 12-months ending in February 2020. Read

Pandemic associated with increase in all-cause mortality among younger US adults

12/16/20--Nearly 12,000 more younger adults died in the United States during a recent 5-month period than expected — an increase in all-cause mortality that was associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers reported in JAMA. For this study, Jeremy S. Faust MD, MS, an emergency medicine physician, and colleagues calculated the difference between observed and expected deaths using averages from the past 5 years and observed all-cause mortality and COVID-19 mortality for the period of March 1 to July 31 this year. Read

15-year-old girl killed after car shears Tacoma pole and catches fire

12/21/20--A 15-year-old girl was killed Sunday after the car she was riding in sheared a power pole in Tacoma, flipped and caught fire, police said. Investigators believe the 18-year-old driver was speeding and under the influence of marijuana. Read

Trends in mortality from drug poisonings, suicide, and alcohol-induced deaths in the United States From 2000 to 2017

9/11/20--This serial cross-sectional study using US mortality data from 2000 to 2017, including 1,446 ,177 drug poisoning, suicide, and alcohol-induced premature deaths found that demographic characteristics and geographic patterns varied by cause of death, suggesting that increasing death rates from these causes were not concentrated in 1 group or region. Specialized interventions tailored for the underlying drivers of each cause of death are urgently needed.. Read

Cannabis-related death in Australia

7/30/20--This presentation, based on research conducted by Emma Zahra, a Research Officer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, explores the findings of the first national level study that investigated 559 cannabis-related deaths through the National Coronial Information System includes drug-related morbidity and mortality and treatment pathways. Read

The Millennial mental-health crisis

6/11/20--Suicides and overdoses among young adults were already skyrocketing before the pandemic started. Now experts fear that the situation is going to get even worse. Interviews with more than a dozen experts on suicide and mental health reveal that Millennials are financially and generally stressed, and it’s driving some of them to extremes. In a report published last year by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, the economists Mark Duggan and Jackie Li found that mortality rates for people from ages 25 to 34 had risen by more than 20 percent since 2008. Read

Trends in the Incidence and Lethality of Suicidal Acts in the United States, 2006 to 2015

4/22/20--In this cross-sectional study based on national representative data of 1,222,419 suicidal acts, increased suicide rates were associated with an increase in both incidence rates and lethality of suicidal acts from 2006 to 2015. In subgroup analyses, incidence of suicidal acts increased among female persons, adolescents, and older adults aged 65 to 74 years, whereas suicidal acts became more lethal among both sexes and persons aged 20 to 64 years. Read

Whiskey, marijuana and speed. New details revealed about deadly Bayshore Boulevard crash.

1/10/20--Benjamin Douglas Ehas faces charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in Thursday’s deadly crash. Ehas told officers he smoked marijuana at about 7 a.m., then imbibed the whiskey later that morning, according to his arrest report. Investigators said he had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.234, almost three times the level at which Florida law presumes impairment. Read

More dogs falling prey to THC poisoning. Vets say legal marijuana is a key factor.

1/10/20--Dog poisoning from ingesting cannabis is sharply on the rise. The Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association reports that cannabis-related calls to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ pet poison-control hotline rose 765% during the same period from 2018 to 2019. Also, the Pet Poison Helpline has reported an increase of more than 400% in cannabis poisoning calls over the past six years. Read

Marijuana detected in homicide victims nearly doubles

1/8/20--Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health assessed the time trends in alcohol and marijuana detected in homicide victims and found that the prevalence of marijuana almost doubled, increasing from 22 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2016. The findings are published in Injury Epidemiology. Read

The rate of teen suicide in Colorado increased by 58% in 3 Years, making it the cause of 1 in 5 adolescent deaths

9/17/19--According to a new report by the United Health Foundation, Colorado had the highest increase in the teen suicide rate in the U.S. since 2016. Dr. Linda Genen, the group’s chief medical officer for women’s health, said Colorado's teen suicide rate increased 58 percent from 2016 to 2019, but the reason is unclear. In the past three years, teen suicide in Colorado rose from 12.9 to 20.4 deaths per 100,000 adolescents ages 15-19, according to the report. Overall, that rate put Colorado as the sixth worst state. Read

Shell casings, med marijuana, money among items found in murder victim’s home

7/9/19--According to officers who searched the home of Andrew "Sawyer" English, who operated the marijuana dispensary "Vapor Express" in Edmond, shell casings outside the home, drug paraphernalia, medical marijuana, and large sums of cash were found following his death. Read

Colorado kids and teens are dying at a rate higher than the U.S. average — and suicide is to blame

6/17/19--Colorado is among the wealthiest, healthiest states in the nation but has a higher teen and child death rate than the national average, a rate that has grown worse over the past two decades. The reason is suicide, which reached an all-time high in 2017 and is the leading cause of death for Coloradans ages 10-24. Read

Police: Accused killer told cops that bong hits led to violent episode

5/9/19--Blood tests on Bryn Spejcher, who is accused of murdering Chad O’Melia, revealed the presence of marijuana. An examination of the burned plant material remaining in the bong she used and the five grams of marijuana collected revealed no drugs beyond THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Read

Military mom warns about the dangers of medical marijuana

4/27/19--Sally Schindel, co-founder of MomsStrong.com, says her son, Andy Zorn, committed suicide because of his marijuana use. Zorn served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. Read

Where pedestrian deaths are up, is marijuana to blame?

2/28/18--Pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents have reached levels not seen in years, and a safety group has sought to explain why. It has identified several possible causes, like digital distractions and an increase in driving. Now it has added another: marijuana. Read

State police: Driver in crash that killed 4 had THC in system

11/21/17--According to Vermont State Police, Steven Holmes, 21, of Chatsworth, Georgia, who was the driver involved in a crash resulting in his death and killing three of his passengers, had a high-level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system. Read

The truth behind the ‘first marijuana overdose death’ headlines

11/17/17--A case report about the seizure and death of an 11-month old after exposure to cannabis has prompted headlines about “the first marijuana overdose death." Co-authors Thomas Nappe and Christopher Hoyte explained that they are are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child. They simply observed the unusual sequence of events, documented it, and alerted the medical community that it is worth studying a possible relationship between cannabis and the child’s cause of death, myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. Read

Man convicted in DWI crash that killed unborn baby may get money in lawsuit blaming Pizza Hut for it

11/15/17--According to Shelby County prosecuting attorney Brad Landwerlen, David G. Pike, who was convicted in a 2015 DWI crash that killed an unborn baby while making a Pizza Hut delivery, may get cash from a lawsuit against his employer, at the time, over the incident. Read

Colorado doctors claim first marijuana overdose death

11/17/17--Two poison control doctors claim to have documented the first known case of death by marijuana overdose, sparking a medical debate over what killed an 11-month-old baby in Colorado two years ago. The doctors behind the case report, Doctors Thomas Nappe and Christopher Hoyte, worked on the baby’s care as part of their duties at the regional poison control center. They claim that damage to the child’s heart muscle was brought on by ingesting marijuana. Read

Eric Bolling’s 19-year-old son had cocaine, marijuana and opioid drugs in system when he died

10/26/17--Six weeks after former Fox News host Eric Bolling‘s only child, 19-year-old Eric Chase Bolling, was found dead on Sept. 9, his cause of death has been revealed. The Boulder County Coroner’s report lists the cause of death as “mixed drug intoxication” that included marijuana, cocaine, and opioids, and it has been ruled as an accident. Read

Engineer in deadly Chester Amtrak crash had marijuana in system

10/11/17--The National Transportation Safety Board says the engineer involved in a deadly Amtrak crash in Chester last year had marijuana in his system. The train was heading from New York to Savannah, Georgia, when it struck the backhoe in Chester, about 15 miles outside of Philadelphia. Read

Pediatric death due to Myocarditis after exposure to cannabis

8/31/17--Since marijuana legalization, pediatric exposures to cannabis have increased. To date, pediatric deaths from cannabis exposure have not been reported. In areas where marijuana is commercially available or decriminalized, the authors of this case report urge clinicians to preventively counsel parents and include cannabis exposure in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with myocarditis. Read

Developing a statistical model to fill in the blanks on death certificates

8/7/17--A new study presents a correction procedure to refine data reporting opioid and heroin deaths per US state, which results in significant shifts in state-by-state mortality rates. This truer picture helps to remove an important barrier to formulating effective policies to address this serious drug epidemic. Read

Insurer refuses to cover marijuana candy murder

5/8/17--United Specialty Insurance refuses to cover Gaia’s Garden, a Colorado-based marijuana candy company, for selling the “Karma Kandy Orange Ginger” under whose influence a man supposedly became psychotic and murdered his wife. Denying that it has any obligation to defend the candy maker, United Specialty says Gaia’s Gardens is on its own. Read

Highland County coroner: Marijuana is ‘gateway to hell’

3/17/17--Highland County coroner Dr. Jeff Beery believes marijuana is a gateway to hell. According to Berry, there has been a steady increase in deaths related one way or another to drugs, raising fatalities connected to illicit drugs to alarming proportions. He said the word “epidemic” is not sufficient to describe the toll being taken on Highland County. “It’s a craze, not an epidemic.” Read

These mothers of suicides don’t think marijuana is harmless

Sally Schindel and Lori Robinson created Moms Strong, a support group that seeks to “unmask the marijuana charade.” The women often give talks at schools, juvenile detention centers, and community groups to aid in the organization’s mission to inform and educate people about those harmed by marijuana. Both mothers united because they believe that high-potency marijuana led their sons to suicide. Read

New study shows Colorado heroin-related deaths are doubling

4/6/17--The Heroin Response Work Group released a new study looking at heroin in Colorado. The study compares heroin use from 2011 to 2015. In 2011, statewide there were 79 heroin-related deaths. By 2015 that number doubled to 160. Read

Marijuana contributed to Wyoming triple fatal crash

4/3/17--Autopsy and toxicology results released for the individuals killed in the March 14 crash on Highway 789 indicated that the deaths of passengers Destinee Wheeler, 15, of Hudson and Paul McEwan, 20, were determined to be homicides. Both Wheeler and McEwan also had marijuana in their system at the time of the crash. Read

Killer who blamed marijuana pleads guilty to second-degree murder

2/6/17--Richard Kirk, the Denver man who almost single-handedly revived the old-timey notion of marijuana-induced violence by killing his wife after eating cannabis candy in 2014, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last Friday. His deal with prosecutors calls for a sentence of 25 to 30 years, followed by five years of parole. Read

Death rates for young, white Americans increased from 1999 to 2014

2/2/17--A report based on data collected from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics shows an increase in the death rates from 1999 to 2014 for young, white people due to a surge in suicides and accidents, with the latter being largely a result of drug overdoses. This is consistent with another recent report showing the death rate from heroin overdoses has quadrupled from 2010 to 2015 among Millennials aged 25 to 34. Read

Colorado man gets jail time, probation for driving high

12/23/16--Jessy Wayne McElroy has been sentenced to 10 months in jail for driving while high on marijuana and causing a fatal crash killing 60-year-old motorcyclist Gary Willis. McElroy has been ordered to serve two years of probation after his jail sentence. Read

Marijuana found in accused driver’s blood

11/4/16--Steven Bourgoin, the wrong-way driver charged with killing five Mad River Valley teens during a fiery crash on Interstate 89 in Williston last month, had strong evidence of marijuana use in his blood system, according to the toxicology report. It is illegal in Vermont for any amount of Delta-9 THC (cannabis) to be in a driver's system. Under Vermont law, drivers are presumed to be under the influence with any measurable amount in their systems. Read

Insight with John Ferrugia: Marijuana – The State of High

10/27/16--In the premiere of Rocky Mountain PBS' investigative series, "Insight", news anchor John Ferrugia explores what is unknown about the risks of high potency THC for those who "dab" so-called "wax", "honey", or "shatter" that can bathe the brain with hundreds of milligrams of the drug compared to a limit of 10 milligrams per serving of edibles infused with THC. Read

Rash of neighborhood burglaries preceded fatal shooting in Denver

10/14/16--The shooting of two kids who had repeatedly hopped a fence to steal marijuana plants was the inevitable conclusion to an escalating series of crimes including graffiti tagging, car thefts, and burglaries that made people worry about their safety. Denver crime statistics verify that property crimes were on the rise in the Whittier neighborhood. Read

Man arrested after allegedly killing teen in marijuana-filled backyard

10/10/16--Keith David Hammock allegedly shot two teenagers who apparently were trying to steal marijuana plants from his backyard. One 15-year-old boy was killed and a 14-year-old was wounded and possibly paralyzed. Hammock is being held for investigation of murder, attempted murder and investigation of felony marijuana cultivation. Read

Colorado murder trial set; marijuana intoxication could be key factor

9/29/16--Richard Kirk is being held for investigation of first-degree murder in the death of his wife in their Denver home. Police are investigating whether marijuana played a role in the killing since he purchased and partially ate marijuana-infused candy before the shooting. His attorneys might argue that marijuana intoxication played a key role. Read

Washington shooter had a marijuana history

9/27/16--Washington Shooter Arcan Cetin, who opened fire in the Macy’s at Cascade Mall killing 5 people on September 23, had a marijuana history that may have come before his mental health issues. When stories that make national news are tracked, marijuana use is often a common trait in many young killers. Read

Driver high on marijuana when he killed Portland cyclist

9/14/16--Kenneth Britt Smith was high on medical marijuana when he struck and killed a bicyclist on Northeast Lombard Street last December -- then fled the scene -- and will be sentenced to more than six years in prison later this month. Read