American’s Life Expectancy Drops Due to Opioid Crisis
According to the CDC, life expectancy among Americans has fallen for the second year in a row as the opioid crisis continues to drive up overall death rates.
In 2016 alone a total of 63,000 people died from drug overdoses, which is up a whopping 21 percent from 2015. Opioid-related overdoses surged 28 percent, killing 42,249 people, mostly ranging from 25 to 54 years of age.
According to Reuters, “The increase largely stemmed from the continued escalation of deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which jumped to 19,410 in 2016 from 9,580 in 2015 and 5,540 in 2014, according to a TFAH analysis of the report.”
The illegal opioid heroin accounted for 15,500 deaths and prescription painkiller opioid were involved in about 14,500 deaths.
Back in October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Senior administration officials said federal resources would be redirected and the regulations to help combat abuse of the drugs would be loosened. However, he stopped short of declaring it a national emergency which would have freed up more federal money.
The average life expectancy fell to an average age of 78.6, which is down 0.1 year from 2015. This marks the first two-year drop since 1962-1963.
Not only has overdose deaths dropped the life expectancy, but overdose rates have risen in 40 states and Washington, D.C. between 2015 and 2016. Of those states, 17 saw an increase of 25 percent or more.
While the government does notice the problem, many don’t believe they are doing enough to really help create change. But “as the opioid epidemic has worsened, many state attorneys general have sued makers of these drugs as they investigate whether manufacturers and distributors engaged in unlawful marketing behavior,” according to Reuters.com.
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