Opioid-Related Deaths Keep Rising As Pain Pill Prescriptions Fall - Hit & Run

Opioid-Related Deaths Keep Rising As Pain Pill Prescriptions Fall - Hit & Run

Drug overdoses set another new record in 2017, cresting at 70,237 - up from 63,632 the year before, the government said in a companion report.

Life expectancy in the United States has now declined for three years in a row, fueled largely by a record number of drug overdose deaths and rising suicide rates, new government statistics show.

Suicides and drug overdoses pushed up US deaths previous year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live.

"We must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier", CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement.

A class of synthetic drugs has replaced heroin in many major American drug markets, ushering in a more deadly phase of the opioid epidemic. The rise coincides with the opioid crisis ravaging through parts of the United States, concentrated in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Not since the combined impact of World War I and the Spanish Flu in 1918 has the country experienced such a prolonged period of decline in life expectancy. Suicide has consistently been among the 10 leading causes of death in the US over the past decade.

U.S. women continue to outlive men, and the death rate did decrease among 45- to 54-year-olds. In urban America, the rate is 11.1 per 100,000 people; in the most rural parts of the country, it is 20 per 100,000. 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.

Montana had the highest suicide rate, and NY the lowest.

A young woman
Pixabay Suicide Rates Climb Dramatically Across US CDC Report Finds

Overall, Americans could expect to live 78.6 years at birth in 2017, down a tenth of a year from the 2016 estimate. In 2017, there were 22 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, compared to six per 100,000 people in 1999.

Indeed, a second report, also from the CDC, found that deaths from drug overdoses continue to soar. A 2017 analysis of opioid-related fatalities in MA found that heroin or fentanyl was the deadliest drug in 85 percent of the cases. But it suggests that the decrease in 2015 was more than a blip-and it points to unfolding stories about health and death in the United States. A tally of all drug overdoses showed 124 deaths, down from 132 the year prior; the count for opioid-related deaths showed an increase from 96 to 101.

Dr. Larissa Mooney, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the CDC reports, said that she's particularly concerned about the numbers; specifically, "the rise in number of Americans dying from drug overdoses every year".

"We're seeing the drop in life expectancy not because we're hitting a cap [for lifespans of] people in their 80s".

The number of children with no health insurance coverage in the US rose a year ago, reversing more than a decade of steady improvement, Georgetown's Center for Children and Families said in a report released Thursday. In 1999, the death rate was just 6.1 per 100,000. Meanwhile, Texas (about 10 drug overdose deaths per 100,000), North Dakota (about 9 per 100,000), South Dakota and Nebraska (both about 8 per 100,000) had the lowest rates in 2017.

Suicide rates for males aged 10-74 were higher in 2017 than in 1999.

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