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It seems the myth of idyllic American suburbia, with white picket fences, carpools, and all that, is not all that. A myth perhaps…

Getting lost in suburbia is taking on a grim new meaning in the U.S.

The nation’s suburbs, once the wellspring of the American Dream, now has the highest rate of premature deaths from drug overdoses, according to a new findings from the County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Just a decade ago, America’s suburbs had the lowest rate of premature death from ODs.

The spike in drug-related deaths is contributing to what County Rankings’ Marjory Givens said is setting off “alarm bells” among public health experts: More younger Americans are dying prematurely, especially those aged 15 to 44. The drug overdose epidemic is the top cause of early death among 25- to 44-year-olds, an age many people in this group traditionally buy their first homes and embark on careers.

Yet for many adults, such achievements appear unobtainable, leading to what experts call “deaths of despair.”

Did your Realtor mention the deaths of despair? No. Can’t blame her.

This graph speaks volumes:


The downtrodden of the inner cities still get most of the attention. Seems things may have changed – they did change. And, I’ll note that all areas seem to be getting worse.

So, to help you track your particular suburb, city, town, or farm country,


Florida, mapped from worst to first:


Hillsborough, you’re No. 29.

Find out about your county and area. There’s some pretty good information linked to the maps. Go investigate.

*A tie-in to my early piece on the robot invasion: this will all be cured once the cyborgs take over. They don’t use drugs, they don’t get depressed, and they never get sick. Or die. Or care about taking your job. But anyway….

Eat for good health;

Exercise for depression;

Stay off the dope;

Shoot the next robot you see; and

Have a good evening!