The CDC reports in 2017, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States.
Life expectancy for the average person in the us dropped slightly in 2017, marking the second time in recent years that USA life expectancy has fallen, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to 2015, USA life expectancy had not declined for several decades.
"These sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable", Dr Robert Redfield, the CDC's director, said in a statement.
According to the report titled "Mortality in the United States, 2017", the life expectancy for a baby born in 2017 fell to 78.6.
Death rates for heroin, methadone and prescription opioid painkillers were flat.
The highest death rates in the country were in West Virginia (57.8), OH (46.3) and Pennsylvania (44.3).
Like in other years, most gun deaths were suicides. Naturally, this increase affects the overall death rate, which is annually adjusted to account for the changing age of the general population.
A rise in increase in suicides and drug overdoses was the main factor behind the decline in life expectancy. But it's deaths in younger age groups - particularly middle-aged people - that have had the largest impact on calculations of life expectancy, experts said. These are, in order of most to fewest deaths: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide. The data also reflect a declining rate of people dying of cancer, down 2.1 percent from 2016 to 2017.
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The national goal, under the Healthy People 2020 initiative, has been to reduce the rate to 10.2 per 100,000 by 2020, though clearly things are moving very much in the wrong direction in that sense.
The primary group that saw jumps in their death rates were white Americans ― a 0.6 percent jump for white males and 0.9 percent for white females, according to the CDC. "It shouldn't be declining in the United States".
Final longevity numbers for 2014 through 2016 were published September 20 in Health, United States, 2017, an annual report produced by the NCHS. The data also show that the increased deaths correspond strongly with the use of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls.
The CDC found suicide became the second leading cause of death for 10- to 34-year-olds in 2016, with rates increasing 33% between 1999 and 2017, according to the report.
"Higher suicide rates in rural areas are due to almost 60 percent of rural homes having a gun, versus less than half of homes in urban areas", Stanford University psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor Keith Humphreys told the Post.
"We're seeing the drop in life expectancy not because we're hitting a cap [for lifespans of] people in their 80s".
America will have to curtail its escalating suicide rate if it ever hopes of becoming truly great again.
"Vermont took steps early on to implement a number of significant actions to enhance prevention, promote screening and early intervention, monitor prescribing, expand treatment and support recovery", Levine said.