Life expectancy for Americans down again, according to CDC report

Life expectancy for Americans down again, according to CDC report

The total life expectancy loss attributable to firearm assault, specifically, was calculated at 3.41 years for black Americans, and 0.51 years for white Americans. In 2017, the average life expectancy was 78.1.

Experts point to steadily increasing drug overdoses and suicides as the culprits.

The past few days, the new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study on suicide (see Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999-2017) has grabbed headlines (see CDC: Opioids, Suicides Drive Life Expectancy Drop).

Life expectancy in the United States has dropped as drug overdose deaths and suicides continued to rise, a government report said Thursday. It's the ninth leading cause of death for Americans.

We're going in the wrong direction.

According to recent federal data, the average American in 2017 could expect to live until age 78.6, a slight decline from recent years' estimates.

According to Ars Technica's Beth Mole, 2015 marked the first recorded drop in US life expectancy since 1993, with Americans shaving an average of 0.1 years off of their lifespans.

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Part of the issue is the rise in deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which are extremely unsafe due to their potency.

The CDC says it's linked to the increase of suicides and opioid overdose deaths. We applaud those who have.

Now look back to 1999, the year the CDC first began reporting overdose death statistics.

Suicide is the other killer driving up USA death statistics.

"I think there just needs to be more emphasis put on mental health so people aren't afraid to speak up". That's an increase of 9.6 percent over 2016's numbers. The suicide rate amongst urban residents is 11.1 per 100,000 people, as opposed to rural residents' 20 per 100,000.

What's going on? Some believe a lack of connectedness may be to blame, even in this age of constant interaction on social media. "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". "The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Surgeon General both highlight naloxone access as a key to preventing overdose death, and provide information on where to get the drug and receive training on how to administer it to someone in distress". We need to watch out for one another and never let anyone feel hopeless or helpless.

If you or someone you know are considering suicide, reach out to the the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889).

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