In the past few decades, the statistics on the health of adolescents’ have shown alarming trends. Recently, news by Well Being Trust and Trust for America’s Health highlights yet another concern. There has been an 87 percent increase in suicide rates among teenagers.
The highest number of suicide cases come specifically from young adults belonging to marginalized groups such as American Indians, LGBT, and Native Americans. The reasons for the rise include multiple factors such as the prevalence of risky behaviors.
The report titled “Addressing a Crisis: Cross-Sector Strategies to Prevent Adolescent Substance Misuse and Suicide” accentuates the progress and improvements in teenage suicide rates.
It states that while the factors contributing to the high suicide rates among teens have been under control to an extent, the use of egregious drugs and substance abuse still remains a big problem regardless of the efforts put for resolving the issue.
In fact, in some cases, the incidents of deaths and incidents as a consequence of drug overdose and abuse have reached an all-time high as well. Therefore, the report further asks for more actions on strategies done specifically to put an end to drug use in the young adult population.
More specifically, the stats show that the tremendous 87 percent increase in suicide among the 12-19 age group now makes suicide the second biggest cause of death in teenagers.
The figures from 2017, which showed that 7.4 percent of high school going children attempted suicide, later on, had an increase of 17 percent. The Chief Strategy Officer of Well Being Trust, Benjamin F. Miller, says that there are enough initiatives targeted on improving mental health in adolescents.
He further adds that there is enough work and research on the matter and more effort put into the matter can definitely help bring the rates of suicide down if the state takes some action. On the other hand, another latest concern surrounding the young adult community of the US which also greatly impacts health is the trend of vaping.
The use of e-cigarettes or vapes, which were once considered a healthier alternative to smoking, has increased by 78 percent in teenagers in high school and 48 percent in teenagers attending middle school.
While the issue can be potentially resolved with better resources and initiatives, a big difficulty also arises due to the disparities in rates based on social class, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation among the teenagers.
It has been noted that certain groups among young adults are more likely to be involved in substance abuse or more likely to commit suicide. For instance, 48 percent of homosexual teenagers have a higher chance of considering/committing suicide in comparison with 13 percent of heterosexual teenagers.
The causes behind such differences are mostly the higher number of problems teens belonging to marginalized or minority groups have to face such as family rejection, discrimination, and bullying.
Handling the issue is now a big question but the report itself mentions a number of evidence-based programs that have helped teenagers in different communities.
Such initiatives will not only stop teens from being involved in substance abuse but also improve other areas of their life such as their school performance and future.