A report by the Commonwealth Fund revealed that the rates of death from suicides and drugs and alcohol have increased by 450% from 2005 to 2017, according to NBC News.
The report also emphasized West Virginia as having the highest drug overdose death rate that was mainly caused by the opioid epidemic. “The rate of growth in drug overdose deaths in West Virginia is absolutely mind-boggling,” said senior scientist for the Commonwealth Fund, David Radley. The report listed Montana, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Oregon, and Wyoming as being the leaders for death rates from suicide and alcohol.
Why were the death rates so high? According to the report, limited access to health care was the main culprit. “Without the ability to go to the doctor when you need to, you’re much more likely to end up getting sick in a way that puts you in the hospital with a manageable disease like diabetes,” said Radley.