Drug Overdoses, Suicides Push Life Expectancy in U.S. behind Other Developed Nations

October 05, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Washington Times

Drug overdose and suicide deaths are contributing to a decrease in the nation’s life expectancy. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined recent mortality trends in the U.S. and found increases in 5 of the 12 leading causes of death. While death rates from causes such as cancer and heart disease have gone down, death rates from drug overdose, suicide, and liver disease have gone up. These three causes of death are all considered “deaths of despair,” according to Jerry Reed, EDC senior vice president for practice leadership. “What I think I’m seeing over time—I’ve been doing this since the late ‘90s—really the general condition that’s present in all three of the examples we’re assessing is pain,” he said. “People are either in psychological pain, spiritual pain, emotional pain, or physical pain—so they self-medicate.”

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