For the second year in a row, the life expectancy in the United States has dropped thanks in large part to the nation’s opioid addiction crisis. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 63,600 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, which was an age-adjusted increase of 21 percent over the overdose deaths in 2015. This data suggests that these increasing numbers are contributing to the reduction in life expectancy in the US.
Opioid Crisis Impacts US Life Expectancy Rate
The CDC released a report on Dec. 18 finding that life expectancy in the US had dropped for the second straight year to 78.6 years. This was a drop of 1.2 months, which is the same as the year before. The CDC attributes this drop to several factors but points out that the primary cause is the increase in deaths due to opioid overdoses.
In 2016 alone, more than 63,600 people died of a drug overdose, and about two-thirds of those deaths (42,200) were linked to opioids. By comparison, more than 58,000 soldiers lost their lives in the Vietnam War, more than 43,000 died from HIV/AIDS at the peak of the epidemic in 1995, and close to 40,000 were killed by guns in the deadliest year of firearms deaths (1993). Drug overdose deaths in 2016 were deadlier than any of these tragic national events.
The Continuing Opioid Crisis in the US
What’s equally troubling about this crisis that not enough is being done to address the issues. The CDC has issued a report that includes preliminary data through May 2017. Based on those numbers, it appears that the overdose rates and impact on life expectancy will be even worse in 2017 than they have been for prior years.
The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) shows that powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are now the largest threat to the health and safety of US citizens. Between 2015 and 2016, the overdose death rate from synthetic opioids doubled, from 3.1 to 6.2 deaths per 100,000. In some areas of the country, there are multiple generations of people who are addicted to opioids, and it could take many years for these figures to turn around provided the right programs are put in place.
Get Help for Opioid Drug Addiction Now
The good news is that there substance abuse treatment available for anyone struggling with an opioid use disorder. Being ruled by addiction is no way to live, which is why The Recovery Village offers addicts and their loved ones hope. Our comprehensive drug addiction treatment program begins with medication-assisted detox and then transitions to caring and compassionate treatment followed by aftercare. Patients are provided with the opportunity to address any co-occurring disorders, and we provide generous family support services as well. Contact one of our addiction specialists now to learn about admissions and find out how you can begin your new life free from the chains of drug addiction. We may be able to assist you in your road to recovery whether you are looking for drug rehab in Albany, NY or an alcohol addiction treatment across the country.