WASHINGTON—Outlining an alarming trend in which record amounts of American deaths from substance abuse and self-harm aren’t even rooted in raising hell, a report by the Commonwealth Fund published Thursday revealed that U.S. death rates from drugs, suicide, and alcohol have greatly increased, but not in a cool rock and roll way. “Our research found that these drug overdoses and suicides, which were rarely the result of being the life of the party, are actually pretty grim and disturbing,” said lead researcher Dr. Emmett Hirsch, noting that though mortality rates from overdoses and suicides have never been higher, hardly any involved doing speedballs backstage and having a heart attack surrounded by half-naked groupies. “These deaths are just from routine addiction and depression, nothing badass that would make for a fascinating memoir or anything. These are not legendary partiers, but rather impoverished, lonely, largely forgotten Americans on the margins of society. Their overdoses and suicides seem to come from places of hopeless despair—not a single recorded death last year came from someone choking on their own vomit in a nightclub bathroom or crashing through a fourth-story hotel window into a pool below.” Hirsch was hopeful after his team uncovered the case of a man high on methamphetamines who screamed, “I’m gonna live forever!” before jumping into a 650-foot gorge at Yosemite National Park.
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