The life expectancy of an average American is likely to go down for the third consecutive year in 2017, as the death rate in the country increased last year, according to the latest report released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The provisional estimates mentioned in the report are based on a high-level review of all the data gathered and processed by the National Vital Statistics System (NCHS) as of a particular cutoff date. Among all the causes of death nationwide, deaths from drug overdoses and suicide seem to be on the rise, contributing to an expected fall in life expectancy in 2017.
According to health officials, this is only the second time in the past century when life expectancy will decline for three years in a row. Last time, it had occurred in 1916, 1917 and 1918, when the U.S. witnessed the worst flu pandemic in its modern history.
The recent CDC’s mortality data for all four quarters of 2017 suggests that the death rate in 2017 went up by less than 1 percent from the previous year’s figure to nearly 734 deaths per 100,000 individuals, after considering the age factor. The researchers used the death rate, along with other factors, to arrive at the prevalent life expectancy in the country. Additionally, the data also showed that deaths from five of the 10 major causes like Alzheimer’s, pneumonia, diabetes, and flu were on the rise, while the top two reasons — heart disease and cancer — claimed slightly less victims.
In 2015, the average American had a life expectancy at birth of 78.7 years that was somewhat lower than the previous year’s. In 2016, it slightly declined to 78.6 years, making it the first consecutive-year drop since the 1960s in the U.S. “Looking at these numbers, it seems likely” the nation has just tied that record, said Anne Case, a Princeton University researcher who’s done great work on deaths in middle-aged white Americans from drug overdose, alcohol abuse, and suicides.
In recent years, drug overdoses, especially ones involving prescription opioids, are claiming more victims than guns and road accidents in America. Studies show that prescription pills are among the most widely abused drugs across the country. Other addictive substances commonly used by people include street drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
Experts say that doctors prescribing opioid painkillers relentlessly have aggravated the disaster, causing immense damage to the society. Public health authorities should take steps to make people aware of the dangers of opioid abuse, besides expanding access to drug abuse recovery programs. Significantly, awareness is the key to preventing drug addiction and thwarting any possibility of a fatal overdose.
Drug addiction is treatable
Substance use disorder is one of the most critical public health problems in the U.S. The omnipresent dangers of addiction have left public health officers and law enforcement authorities in a fix. People need to know that they are not born with the intention to abuse drugs as they grow up, but once caught in the clutches of addiction; their ability to exercise self-control can be largely impaired with extended use. Moreover, the damage to several important organs and body functions is significant.
However, the good thing is that drug addiction is a treatable disease. When wondering where to start with to find help for addiction to drugs, alcohol, or any other intoxicant, one needn’t look further than Sovereign Health to avail the latest treatment options at its world-class drug detox treatment centers. You may call at our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our counselor for more information about our evidence-based residential drug detox treatment programs.