KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Trump Looked Like An Answer To Prayers In Counties Suffering Most From ‘Deaths Of Despair’

But residents are now losing hope that the president will be able to change the cycle of alcohol, drugs and suicide that has hit these places so hard.

The Associated Press: Battling Demons In A Community Looking To Trump For Change
In Grays Harbor County, a rural community on the coast of Washington state, the rate at which people die from despair — from drugs, alcohol and suicide — is nearly twice the national average. The county embraced Donald Trump’s call to America’s forgotten corners, and flipped Republican in a presidential election for the first time in 90 years. Many of those caught in the cycle of addiction did not vote; they are either felons or too consumed by the turmoil of trying to claw their way out to be engaged in society. But they, too, hope for a better tomorrow. (Galofaro, 8/18)

The Associated Press: Trump Won Places Drowning In Despair. Can He Save Them?
Penn State sociologist Shannon Monnat spent last fall plotting places on a map experiencing a rise in “deaths of despair” — from drugs, alcohol and suicide wrought by the decimation of jobs that used to bring dignity. On Election Day, she glanced up at the television. The map of Trump’s victory looked eerily similar to hers documenting death, from New England through the Rust Belt all the way here, to the rural coast of Washington, a county of 71,000 so out-of-the-way some say it feels like the end of the earth. (Galofaro, 8/18)

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