We all must help in fight vs. suicide

We suspect it is no coincidence that the suicide rate in Ohio skyrocketed during the same period of time, 2007-2018, that the drug abuse epidemic was taking off.

During that period, the number of suicides increased by 45 percent, according to a new report by the state Department of Health.

Rates for various subcategories of people seemed to vary little. However, the rate of suicides among those ages 10-24 is higher than for the population in general. More than 1,800 OHIO residents ended their own lives last year. Then there has to be a suscipion that some overdose deaths ruled accidental — who would really know? — were in fact deliberate attempts at suicide. And, sadly, successful.

Of course, many of those taking their own lives are not addicts. Just troubled. Right now, the holiday blues don’t help. Gov. Mike DeWine has said he hopes his new RecoveryOhio initiative can do something about the problem, by offering more help to those battling mental illness. Again, we believe helping those addicted to illicit drugs “get clean” will be important in that campaign.

But the most effective way to reduce suicides is not government action. It is Ohioans who know someone they worry may be considering suicide — and who reach out to help. One way of doing that is to suggest an at-risk person call a suicide prevention hotline. One, operated by the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, can be reached at 800-273-8255.


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