The rate of suicide in the United States has reached a level not seen since World War II, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"The age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States in 2017 (14.0 per 100,000 standard population) was 33 percent higher than the rate in 1999," the CDC's Sally Curtin and Holly Hedegaard wrote in the report.
They note suicide rates, for men and women, "increased significantly" during that time span "for all race and ethnicity groups except non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander," with "non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN)" women seeing the largest increase at 139 percent, along with indigenous men at 71 percent.
Most suicides affect young people, specifically those between the ages of 15 and 44. Young Native Americans are particularly vulnerable to suicide "as a result of historical trauma, chronically underfunded federal programs, and broken promises on the part of the US government," according to the Center for Native American Youth.
"Certainly for [Native American and Alaska Native] men and women, alcohol use by the individual and by family and community members is a major factor," William Kerr, the director of the Public Health Institute's Alcohol Research Group's NIAAA Alcohol Research Center, told BuzzFeed News. "The opioid crisis is also part of the picture, and this has affected [Native American and Alaska Native] groups similarly to non-Hispanic whites, rising to levels that similarly have impacts through individual, family, and community problematic use."
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