One is too many.
Death by suicide and drug overdose are both tragic events that negatively affect the victim’s families and communities for years to come. Examining the official numbers of these tragic incidents may help us gain a greater awareness of their frequency and subsequently be more proactive in helping those in our families and communities at risk.
From this CDC data, we learn that Oregon is ranked 17 out of 50 states with the rate of suicide deaths at 19.5 per 100,000 people. Oregon is ranked 19 out of 50 states with the total amount of suicides at 889.
As for drug overdose deaths, we learn from the CDC data in 2021 that Oregon ranks 34 out of 50 states with the rate of overdose deaths at 26.8 per 100,000 people. Oregon ranks 29 out of 50 states with the total drug overdose deaths at 1,171.
Just for some perspective, suicides have increased in Oregon since 2014 when it had a rate of 18.6 and a total of 782. Drug overdose deaths in Oregon have increased in Oregon more drastically since 2014, when Oregon had a rate of 12.8 and a total of 522. This is according to CDC data.
According to Oregon Health Authority data from 2013, Oregon had a rate of 17.7 per 100,000. They also include the rate of hospitalizations from suicide attempts at 54.6 per 100,000. Also, 76 percent of suicide deaths occurred among males; the highest suicide rates occurred for males among 85 and older men and for females, 45–54 year-old women.
Additionally, we learn from a Fox 12 Oregon article written on April 18, 2023, by Anna Katayama that suicide among young people in Oregon has decreased by 26 percent since 2018, but suicides among adults have increased during this time. This article highlights an annual conference by the American Association of Suicidology held in Portland, which offers training to suicide prevention workers. The article also pointed readers to the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide to learn more about getting involved and helping this effort.
As for drug overdose deaths, an in-depth OPB article written by Conrad Wilson on May 30…