"A recent report published by the Commonwealth Fund found that deaths of #despair
are surging across the country. Most strikingly, in eleven states drug overdose deaths tripled in just twelve years, owing mostly to the #opioid
After steadily rising for six decades, life expectancy is now declining in the United States. The main culprit, according to the authors of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is midlife mortality “caused by #drug
abuse, suicides, and a diverse list of organ system diseases.” These deaths of despair are concentrated among the working class, which has seen its wages stagnate, its #debt
balloon, its living costs skyrocket, and its options narrow over the last half-century.
Now that the extent of the problem has been widely recognized, the discussion must turn to solutions. One is obvious: we need a #Medicare-for-All
program that covers mental #health
care for those experiencing #depression
, as well as treatment and recovery options for those suffering from drug and alcohol dependency and abuse.
But there’s another solution to consider: unions.
A new study published in the American Journal of Industrial #Medicine
finds that higher union density corresponds to fewer deaths by #overdose
and suicide. The takeaway here is clear: if we want to reverse the present life expectancy trend we need to rebuild the US labor movement."https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/01/life-expectancy-united-states-overdose-unions
A new study finds that higher union density corresponds to fewer deaths by overdose and suicide. Combatting “deaths of despair” is a tall order, but growing the labor movement and expanding unions’ culture of solidarity throughout our society can help.www.jacobinmag.com