In America today, millions of Americans are dying at younger ages because of what sociologists call, diseases of despair. When there are no jobs that pay a living wage, when there is no hope for the future, people turn to drugs, alcohol and even suicide. This is a tragedy unto itself, but it also speaks to an extraordinary emptiness and lack of hope which exists in many parts of our country. That has got to change. We have got to treat substance abuse as a public health issue, not a criminal issue. We need to be investing in jobs and education for our young people, not more jails and incarceration. Instead of having more people in jail than any other country, we need to have the best-educated population in the world. That is not only good public policy, it will literally save the lives of our young people. According to an analysis in today’s Washington Post, since 2010, there has been a tragic rise in death rates among Americans between the ages of 25-44 among all groups except those with four-year college degrees.