CDC: Opioid crisis leads to decline in average life expectancy

Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses

John Minchillo Associated Press

According to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, last year more than 2.8 million people died, an increase from the year before. Drug Overdose And Suicide-Related Deaths The unfortunate increase in deaths from a drug overdose past year hit a record high of 70,237, an up from 63,632 in 2016.

"We must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier", CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement.

Among the nation's 10 leading causes of death, only the cancer death rate fell in 2017, while 7 other causes increased.

Although the US has struggled with a drug crisis for years, overdoses have only recently become a major driver of the overall mortality rate because decreases in other causes of death, like heart disease, have leveled off after long-term declines.

"Even so, most important is to remember that these are people, not just numbers - members of our families, friends, loved ones and neighbors", Levine said. However, this 2017 urban suicide rate is 16 percent higher than in 1999 (about 10 per 100,000), while the 2017 suicide rate for the most rural counties is 53 percent higher than in 1999 (about 13 per 100,000), the report indicates.

"There are some data to suggest that that's led to a sense of hopelessness, which in turn could lead to an increase in rates of suicide and certainly addictive behaviors".

Meanwhile, drug overdoses surpassed 70,000 in 2017, solidifying the ongoing crisis as the deadliest such epidemic in U.S. history. The suicide rate has increased by a third since 1999, according to the CDC stats, to 14 for every 100,000 people a year ago.

Meanwhile, the number of overdose deaths hit a new high previous year, reaching 70,237.

Vermont's rate of fatal drug overdoses ranks 22nd in the country, putting the state on par with the death rate nationwide, a new federal report shows. From 2016 to 2017, the age-adjusted death rate for the entire population increased by 0.4 percent.

The suicide rate is also the highest it has been in decades.

That's not quite cause for celebration, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University.

Life expectancy fell from 78.7 in 2016. "I think it will take several years".

As you can see in the map (linked here and embedded below), the areas most affected by high rates of death are concentrated in the Southeast and parts of the Southwest.

Though deaths from overdoses of all types of opioids have increased since 1999, the change in mortality induced by synthetic opioids other than methadone, meaning products like fentanyl, has had the most alarming upswing.

Another major contributor to declining life expectancy is the rising rate of suicides, which took more than 47,000 lives past year.

Prior to Thursday's CDC report, Vermont had released fatal overdose statistics for 2017.

"Maybe it's starting to slow down, but it hasn't turned around yet", Rowe said. The 2017-2018 flu season was one of the worst in more than a decade, and some of the deaths from early in that season appeared in the new death dates.

In 2016, 21.6 per cent more people died from overdoses compared to 2015. "There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide". Among women, the rate increased from about 4 overdose deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to about 14 per 100,000 in 2017.

The CDC figures are based mainly on a review of 2017 death certificates. In 2017, it about 60 percent of them were by gun.

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