OPIOIDS CONTRIBUTE TO LIFE EXPECTANCY DECREASE IN AMERICA
Pray fervently this New Year’s weekend for protection from drug overdose, alcohol-related deaths, and other harm associated with substance abuse. Pray for a great wave of deliverance in this nation from the bondage of opioids and other drugs, and alcohol abuse.
With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. (Eph 6:18 AMP)
Health researchers have some grim news for Americans: We are dying younger, and life expectancy is now down for the second straight year — something not seen in more than half a century.
One undeniable culprit is the opioid epidemic, which is cutting down young adults at alarming and increasing rates, the researchers say.
The numbers are ‘disturbing,’ said Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch of the National Center for Health Statistics. The branch is part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released two reports Thursday. One focused on all causes of death and the other zeroed in on drug overdose deaths.
A baby born in the United States in 2016 could expect to live 78.6 years, a decrease of more than a month from 2015 and more than two months from 2014. That’s the first two-year decline since 1962 and 1963 when spikes in flu deaths were likely to blame, Anderson said.
Before 2015, the last one-year decline was in 1993 and was attributed partly to the AIDS epidemic.
The declines are shockingly out of sync with a larger world in which lives are getting longer and healthier, public health experts said. . .
But fewer people are making it to 65. And the biggest killers of young people include what statisticians call ‘unintentional injuries’ — a category that covers drug overdoses, traffic crashes and falls. Deaths from those causes rose 9.7% in 2016.
A second CDC report makes it clear that drug overdoses are driving that wave of premature deaths, killing 63,600 people in 2016. The death rate from overdoses tripled from 6.1 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 19.8 in 2016.
And it spiked 21% from 2015 to 2016, the report says.
The fatal drugs increasingly include synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, along with heroin and other opioids, the report says.
The opioid epidemic is not the only explanation for falling life expectancy, Anderson said. Stalled progress on the nation’s biggest killer, heart disease, is playing a long-term role, despite a decline in deaths in 2016, he said.
Everything from bad roads to bad diets to unequal use of health care contributes to the death gap between the United States and other rich countries, Muennig said.
Suicides also increased in 2016, as did reported deaths from Alzheimer’s disease.
The overall decline in U.S. life expectancy cannot yet be called a trend, Anderson said: ‘I hope it’s just a two-year thing.’ But, he said, the picture is unlikely to improve if the rise in drug deaths is not stopped.
‘So my guess is that is that when all is said and done, we are probably going to see something similar for 2017.’”(Excerpted from USA Today, reporting by Kim Painter.)
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