Tag Archives: alcoholism

Michael Medved: The Biggest Threat to Our National Well-Being

Despite strong economic growth of recent years, an even more important number tells a much less encouraging story.

For three years in a row now, we’ve suffered an unprecedented decline in life expectancy—with self-inflicted harm striking more Americans in the prime of life. The lead author of a new study for the American Medical Association says, “the whole country is at a disadvantage compared to other wealthy nations.”

While people around the world enjoy steady increases in longevity, America has been moving in the wrong direction for the first time in a century.

Experts say prime causes are drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholism—“deaths of despair” that inflict a horrible toll, despite declining rates of crime and poverty, and dramatic improvements in medical care.

Prospective leaders in an election year must confront this threat to our national well-being that prematurely steals spouses, parents, neighbors and work colleagues from those who need them.

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Michael Medved: Problems Beyond Politics

I’m sure I’m not alone in knowing several families that are prosperous, hard-working and deeply religious and yet lose children to the world of drugs, out-of-wedlock birth, welfare dependence and hopelessness.

It’s also increasingly common to see solidly middle-class couples who, after 20 or 30 years of seemingly successful marriage, suddenly break up, causing pain to themselves, their children and even their grandchildren. In spite of a booming economy and increased opportunity, so-called “deaths of despair”—through suicide, alcoholism or drug overdoses—have reached unprecedented levels.

This explains the seeming disconnect between our prevailing prosperity and the big majorities who believe America’s on the wrong track for our future.

The essential problem involves the collapse of family life, and with neither liberals nor conservatives addressing the issue in meaningful ways, our politics seems to offer only a sideshow rather than a solution.

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