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Deaths of Despair are Increasing During Coronavirus.

Source: Alex Schadenberg via Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Reprinted with permission.

I was speaking to a friend, today, who told me that 4 people, who he knows, died by suicide in the past two weeks.

An article by Shannon Roberts published by Mercatornet suggests that the COVID-19 crisis has led to an increase in suicide “deaths of despair.” Roberts connects research indicating that opioid related deaths are often fueled by loneliness and a lack of hope, factors that have been exasperated by the COVID-19 crisis. Roberts writes:

Many drug counsellors will tell you that they are deaths caused by a lack of connection, fuelled by loneliness and a lack of hope. It has also been well-documented that increasing numbers of young men without purpose or jobs have turned to opioids. It is telling that Covid-19 lockdowns and job losses appear to be hugely increasing death rates.

Roberts quotes from an article by Chris McGreal that was published in the Guardian which states:

…coronavirus looks to be undoing the advances made against a drug epidemic that has claimed close to 600,000 lives in the US over the past two decades.

Worse, it is also laying the ground for a long-term resurgence of addiction by exacerbating many of the conditions, including unemployment, low incomes and isolation, that contributed to the rise of the opioid epidemic and “deaths of despair”.

…“The number of opioid overdoses is skyrocketing and I don’t think it will be easily turned back,” said Dr Mike Brumage, former director of the West Virginia office of drug control policy.

I’m a firm adherent to the idea that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection. Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection,” he said.

When considering the suicide epidemic in relation to our culture, it seems that Brumage is right, that the increase in suicide rates are closely related to the increase in cultural loneliness and social isolation.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

I suggest another factor that is causing an increase in suicide deaths is the online availability of assisted suicide drugs.

Shawn Shatto’s Parents

A few days ago I reported on a Pennsylvania woman who is working to get a bill passed after her daughter died by suicide. Her daughter was given lethal instructions and encouraged to die by suicide by an assisted suicide website. I explained that Shawn Shatto was not the first person who was struggling with depression and anxiety to come across an assisted suicide website and then die by suicide.

It gets worse. There are internet sites that sell assisted suicide drugs where at least one of these sites is operated by a known assisted suicide lobby leader.

Recently, one of the assisted suicide websites attempted to publish links to their website on the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition blog. That website sells assisted suicide drugs.

An internet search found more assisted suicide drug websites. It appears that the assisted suicide lobby is making money by selling assisted suicide drugs to people who are struggling with depression or anxiety. These sites encourage deaths of despair.

Not only are the social conditions leading to more suicide deaths, but the availability of lethal drugs drives the suicide rate higher.

Don’t believe the assisted suicide lobby when they say that suicide and assisted suicide are different. The assisted suicide lobby is peddling suicide.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Header image: Aliyah Jamous via

External Link: See also – Covid-19 has increased “deaths of despair” in the US via