Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US & the rate keeps rising. Illegal drug (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine) use is also increasing with an estimated 28.6 million Americans aged 12 & older (almost 10% of the population) using. An estimated 54 million people over age 12 have used prescription drugs (pain killers, sedatives, tranquilizers, stimulants) for non-medical reasons. Illegal drug use combined with illegal prescription drug use is 25% of the US population. Alcoholism from age 12 claims over 16 million Americans (almost 5% of the population) & since so much drinking, especially among kids, the elderly, & women, is secret, this is likely an underestimate.
It’s an unhappy place here in capitalist America. Some can say it’s due to widespread mental illness but then the question must be asked, ‘why so much mental illness in one of the most privileged countries on the planet’? This is not to minimize or demean the wrenching psychic suffering of so many but to suggest that maybe, just maybe, capitalism, with its competitive ethos, militarist orientation, & massive inequalities, doesn’t really work that well for human beings, doesn’t & can’t create a world comfortable & suitable for human beings to live in.