Steve’s listeners share emotional stories of those lost to suicide
The story of the Riverdale Sgt. Greg Bogert saving a man who tried to jump off a bridge on Route 287 brings to light the rising suicide rate in New Jersey. The most recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that New Jersey has the highest suicide rate in the U.S.
We explored the topic on air, discussing what would drive someone to take their own life and the pain that is felt by both the person as well as the friends and families of those lost. One caller, Tim from South Brunswick, was friends with Tyler Clementi, who took his life in 2010 after he was bullied for his sexuality. The death of his friend has been a contributing factor to him becoming an EMT. Tim says the loss still weighs heavy on Clementi's family and friends.
What I think is a major part of the problem (in multiple ways) is pharmaceutical drugs. Some of these drugs casually gloss over that suicidal thoughts are one of the side effects. How do we just let that slide?
Something we talk about a lot on the show is how these drugs can also lead to a heroin addiction. We heard from a former addict last night who confirmed that when he was in one of his slumps, he strongly considered taking his life. Tom from Red Bank said that when he was in the midst of his addiction "you feel like you're done... you're stuck in this work and you can't get out of it." Unfortunately, people think that the way out of this world is to take their own life instead of finding help.
The answer, instead of ending it all, should be to seek out help from your friends and family or to give the suicide hotline a call at 1-800-273-8255.