Drug overdose deaths hit record high above 70,000, drive down U.S. life expectancy

Drug overdose deaths hit record high above 70,000, drive down U.S. life expectancy

- in Health
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By Maggie Fox

Drug overdose deaths rose above 70,000 in 2017, a rise of almost 10 percent to a record high, according to government statistics out Thursday.

Suicide rates also rose, by 3.7 percent. Together, these two causes of untimely death lowered U.S. life expectancy for the second year in a row, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

NCHS

“The latest CDC data show that the U.S. life expectancy has declined over the past few years. Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement.

“These sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

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