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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2022

Jessica Cataldo

Increases in deaths of despair in the USA have been associated with economic conditions and drug availability. In the state of Illinois, deaths of despair represent a…

Abstract

Purpose

Increases in deaths of despair in the USA have been associated with economic conditions and drug availability. In the state of Illinois, deaths of despair represent a significant public health issue. This study aims to examine the relationship between county-level economic distress, drug availability and mortality from deaths of despair collectively and for each contributing cause of death individually in the state of Illinois to better understand drivers of mortality locally.

Design/methodology/approach

Two cross-sectional analyses were conducted for 2010–2014 and 2015–2019. Correlations, regression analyses and relative weight analyses were applied to assess the relationship between deaths of despair mortality rate and the individual variables.

Findings

Deaths of despair mortality collectively and for each cause of death individually increased significantly from 2010–2014 to 2015–2019 in Illinois. Suicide mortality was higher in rural counties and was related to economic distress, while drug poisoning and alcohol-related deaths were higher in urban counties and were related to drug availability indicators.

Originality/value

While all three causes of death increased in the state, suicide mortality was inversely related to deaths of despair mortality. This may be because of different individual risk factors in rural versus urban areas or issues with coding cause of death. The findings of this study point to a rising public health challenge of deaths of despair mortality, particularly from substance use, in urban counties and from suicide in rural counties.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Expert briefing
Publication date: 6 February 2020

Economic toll of deaths of despair.

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB250492

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
Graphic analysis
Publication date: 19 May 2020

Social isolation and economic uncertainties arising from COVID-19 lockdowns could prompt many more deaths of despair

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-GA252699

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
Book part
Publication date: 11 July 2019

Janet Currie, Jonas Jin and Molly Schnell

This chapter uses quarterly county-level data from 2006 to 2014 to examine the direction of causality in the relationship between per capita opioid prescription rates and…

Abstract

This chapter uses quarterly county-level data from 2006 to 2014 to examine the direction of causality in the relationship between per capita opioid prescription rates and employment-to-population ratios. We first estimate models of the effect of per capita opioid prescription rates on employment-to-population ratios, instrumenting opioid prescriptions for younger ages using opioid prescriptions to the elderly. We find that the estimated effect of opioids on employment-to-population ratios is positive but small for women, while there is no relationship for men. We then estimate models of the effect of employment-to-population ratios on opioid prescription rates using a shift-share instrument and find ambiguous results. Overall, our findings suggest that there is no simple causal relationship between economic conditions and the abuse of opioids. Therefore, while improving economic conditions in depressed areas is desirable for many reasons, it is unlikely on its own to curb the opioid epidemic.

Details

Health and Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-861-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

Chris Gerald Caulkins

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) as a work of art and the role of the bridge in shaping community identity and discourse. Particular…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) as a work of art and the role of the bridge in shaping community identity and discourse. Particular attention is focussed on the discourse surrounding mental illness and suicide, which perpetuate the problem of suicides involving the bridge as a means and mechanism of death. An analysis of the person who attempts or completes suicide is also performed.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple research articles, writings, and a cinematic production are drawn on to frame the argument in terms of Michel Foucault's adaption of Pantopticism Theory and Jacques Lacan's Mirror Theory, which includes the concepts of the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic.

Findings

The GGB is a major factor in shaping the discourse on mental illness and suicide in the San Francisco community. The influences the GGB exerts combines with and exacerbates a culture of stigma, which perpetuates negative discourse and increases the risk of suicides in those already vulnerable.

Research limitations/implications

The research for this paper was performed at a distance and was conducted, with the exception of one personal communication, by literature search and application to theory. Ethnographic research would be a logical next step to study the phenomenon further.

Practical implications

Theory developed from this paper could be used in determining a relevant course of action for adding to existing suicide prevention efforts in the San Francisco Area and any other community with a prominent icon, such as the GGB, that may be exerting a negative influence on the suicide rates of that area.

Social implications

An awareness of how art, culture, and psychology interact would increase awareness of the creation of a stigmatized environment and perhaps precipitate a change in the underlying negative discourse.

Originality/value

This paper takes a fresh look at the phenomenon of violent death by suicide where a physical object/icon (the GGB) is used as a means to die. The particular theories and approach used to explain the interactions that intensify the suicide death rate have never been combined and interwoven in such an interdisciplinary way to seek an explanation.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2022

Ryan A. Robertson, Corbin J. Standley, John F. Gunn III and Ijeoma Opara

Death by suicide among Black people in the USA have increased by 35.6% within the past decade. Among youth under the age of 24 years old, death by suicide among Black…

Abstract

Purpose

Death by suicide among Black people in the USA have increased by 35.6% within the past decade. Among youth under the age of 24 years old, death by suicide among Black youth have risen substantially. Researchers have found that structural inequities (e.g. educational attainment) and state-specific variables (e.g. minimum wage, incarceration rates) may increase risk for suicide among Black people compared to White people in the USA. Given the limited understanding of how such factors systematically affect Black and White communities differently, this paper aims to examine these relationships across US states using publicly available data from 2015 to 2019.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were aggregated from various national sources including the National Center for Education Statistics, the Department of Labor, the FBI’s Crime in the US Reports and the Census Bureau. Four generalized estimating equations (GEE) models were used to examine the impact of state-level variables on suicide rates: Black adults suicide rate, Black youth (24 years and younger) suicide rate, White adult suicide rate and White youth suicide rate. Each model includes state-level hate group rates, minimum wage, violent crime rates, gross vacancy rates, and race-specific state-level poverty rates, incarceration rates and graduation rates.

Findings

Across all GEE models, suicide rates rose between 2015–2019 (ß = 1.11 – 2.78; ß = 0.91 – 1.82; ß = 0.52 – 3.09; ß = 0.16 – 1.53). For the Black adult suicide rate, state rates increased as the proportion of Black incarceration rose (ß = 1.14) but fell as the gross housing vacancy rates increased (ß = −1.52). Among Black youth, state suicide rates rose as Black incarcerations increased (ß = 0.93). For the adult White suicide rate, state rates increased as White incarceration (ß = 1.05) and percent uninsured increased (ß = 1.83), but fell as White graduation rates increased (ß = −2.36). Finally, among White youth, state suicide rates increased as the White incarceration rate rose (ß = 0.55) and as the violent crime rate rose (ß = 0.55) but decreased as state minimum wages (ß = −0.61), White poverty rates (ß = −0.40) and graduation rates increased (ß = −0.97).

Originality/value

This work underscores how structural factors are associated with suicide rates, and how such factors differentially impact White and Black communities.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Expert briefing
Publication date: 21 October 2020

COVID-19 has affected all 50 states unevenly, so the starting points for recovery vary. Twenty-one states have this month recorded their highest 7-day average of new…

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB256993

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
Expert briefing
Publication date: 10 January 2023

Fentanyl is mainly produced by two Mexican cartels and smuggled into the United States, where dealers cut it with other illegal narcotics or use it to make fake…

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB275130

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
Expert briefing
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Rates of disability fell from 2010 to early 2020 and rates of drug overdoses began to stabilise as the persistently unemployed were drawn back into employment…

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB254608

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2019

Daniel M. Harrison

As the social scientists of modern society, sociologists find themselves in a peculiar situation. Human civilization appears on the brink of collapse; the ravages of

Abstract

As the social scientists of modern society, sociologists find themselves in a peculiar situation. Human civilization appears on the brink of collapse; the ravages of global capitalism are turning natural and social orders upside down. Some theorists are declaring the “end of history,” while others wonder if humans will soon become extinct. People find themselves increasingly shouldering burdens on their own, strangers to themselves and others. Struggles for recognition and identity are forged in harsh landscapes of social dislocation and inequality. The relationship of the individual to the state atrophies as governmental power becomes at once more remote and absolutely terrifying. How are we as sociologists expected to theorize under such circumstances?  What implications result for the mission of sociology as a discipline and area of study? What political initiatives, if any, can counter these trends?

This chapter provides an immanent critique of sociology as a profession, vocation, and critical practice. Sociology today (in the US and around the globe) faces fierce social, economic, and political headwinds. The discipline continues to be a perilous choice as a vocation for independent researchers as much as the shrinking professoriate. Yet while the traditional functions of sociology are thrown into doubt, there has been an increase in critical practices on the part of some sociologists. As institutional norms, values, and traditions continue to be challenged, there will be passionate debates about the production of social worlds and the validity claims involved in such creation. Sociologists must play an active role in such discourse. Sociology is needed today as a mode of intervention as much as occupational status system or method of inquiry.

Details

The Challenge of Progress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-572-6

Keywords

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