Warning: Life Expectancy is Lowering Thanks to the Opioid Crisis

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

opioid epidemic word blocks

The over-prescription of opioid painkillers in the United States has pushed us over the edge in nearly every aspect; with so much drug overdose deaths occurring, our life expectancy is lowering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 63,000 people died in 2016 from a drug overdose – a nearly 21% increase from 2015 and three times the amount of deaths related in 1999. Individuals in the 25-54 age group are most at-risk, as many have been prescribed the medication for injuries or post-surgeries, and many others abusing medication that isn’t theirs.

The unfortunate circumstance of America is that our population is dying not just due health reasons such as cancer or old age, but also due to reasons that could have involved more preventative measure. Unintentional injuries such as both vehicle accidents and drug overdoses are becoming the leading cause of death in the United States. Previous declines in life expectancy in the United States were due to health epidemics such as the AIDS virus and fatal influenza rates. Barnett, assistant professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School for Public Health, stated in an interview,

“If just as bad as anybody could have feared. As a country, we have not reached the peak of this problem.”

While several steps from the government has been taken – such as expanded healthcare education to communities and referring medication that is said to be less addictive than others – there is still more work that needs to be done. As a nation, we need to come together and support one another more. We need to broaden our knowledge on ourselves, others, and how various circumstances can impact one another. Many people feel that if someone becomes addicted, it’s not their problem so they shouldn’t worry about it. Essentially, each person contributes to the larger sense of home that we call America and because of this, we need to look further into what we can do as individuals to help our communities thrive more.





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