For the first time in 50 years, the life expectancy in the United States has declined two years in a row. The culprit is the increase of drug overdoses due to the opioid crisis which is plaguing the U S.
The last time the U.S. experienced two consecutive years of decline was in 1963, due to the increase of tobacco use following World War II and a deadly flu.
According to Robert Anderson, head of the mortality statistics branch with the National Center for Health Statistics, “Two years in a row is striking” and “the key driver of that is the increase in drug overdose mortality.” Anderson also reports that the preliminary data received about overdoses in 2017 doesn’t look any better. If in fact life expectancy was to increase for three years in a row that would be the first time this has happened in 100 years.
Life expectancy for the United States was 78.9 years in 2014, 78.7 years in 2015, and 78.6 years in 2016. Life expectancy for men was particularly influenced decreasing by 0.2 % years to 76.1 in 2016.
Anna Lembke, a behavioral sciences profession at Stanford University and addiction expert believes that it is going to take 10 to 20 years to really see significant changes in the epidemic. She states, “We’ve got multiple generations of people that are already addicted and it’s going to be a real struggle to help those people.”
If you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse call us today at 866-772-8491, for a free, confidential assessment. We have several treatment options that help change lives.