With deaths involving drug overdoses reaching 21 percent in 2016 in the United States, the average life expectancy for Americans reduced for the second consecutive year, revealed a latest report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report highlighted that there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2016. Another frightening revelation was that the age-adjusted rate of drug overdoses increased almost three times from 6.1 per 100,000 standard population in 1999 to 19.8 per 100,000 people in 2016. Moreover, the increase was observed in both males and females and among all age groups across the continent.
Highlighting the most common opioids responsible for drug deaths, the report stated that about 42,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. involved opioids like heroin, fentanyl, methadone and prescription pain medicines. Due to the increased practice of cutting drugs to increase the purity level, overdoses from fentanyl and its analogs were more than 19,000. These deaths were mostly caused by the illegally made pills or powder mixed with heroin or other drugs. While heroin-related overdoses claimed 15,500 lives, prescription painkillers were tied to 14,500 deaths.
As per the CDC report, people aged 25 to 54 reported the highest number of overdose deaths, with around 35 drug overdoses per 100,000 people in 2016. The report that used the most recent data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) listed 22 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to have higher overdose rates compared to the national rate.
Increase in drug overdose associated with decrease in average life expectancy
According to the report, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdoses involving synthetic opioids other than methadone saw two-time increase from 2015 to 2016. Drug overdoses caused by fentanyl, its analogs and tramadol saw a gradual increase from 3.1 per 100,000 people in 2015 to 6.2 in 2016. While drug overdoses involving heroin increased from 4.1 in 2015 to 4.9 in 2016, overdose deaths involving natural and semisynthetic opioids increased from 3.9 in 2015 to 4.4 in 2016. As per the preliminary 2017 figures, there has been a continuous rise in overdose deaths across the U.S.
With the continuous reduction in the life expectancy of Americans, a child born in 2016 was expected to live for about 78.6 on average as compared to an average life expectancy of 78.7 years for a child born in 2015. With 2016 being marked as the first time when the life expectancy in the U.S. fell two consecutive years, there has been increased concerns among medical practitioners, experts and policymakers. Considering the close relationship between drug abuse and other chronic diseases, the report highlighted other most common causes of death like heart diseases, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, stroke, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, kidney disease and suicide.
Addiction to drugs: A tricky affair
A complex disease of the mind and body and a leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., addiction to drugs is a devastating, chronic brain disease that affects millions of Americans annually. Despite the continued efforts to stop the ongoing national opioid epidemic, the latest released figures paint a grim picture. Often used as an experiment or a voluntary activity, the consequences of drug addiction often outweigh the reason for which they were taken.
Owing to their addictive nature and euphoria-generating effects, drug use often tricks the brain into thinking them to be essential. As a result, any attempt to quit result in severe withdrawal symptoms and uncontrollable drug cravings. While attempting to battle addiction all alone can be challenging, seeking professional treatment at a certified rehab facility can help one get rid of his or her addiction and stay sober for years to come.
Sovereign Health, a leading substance abuse and behavioral health treatment facility, offers the best shot at recovery by combining traditional clinical approaches with new treatment modalities. Drug addiction treatment programs at our state-of-the-art facilities located across the U.S. offer a wide range of treatment options like detox programs, medications, psychotherapies and recovery management programs to help one recover from addiction and begin a healthy life.
To learn more about our top-notch drug addiction rehab programs or to locate our state-of-the-art drug addiction rehab centers, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our representatives for further assistance.