A new JAMA study revealed that the American life expectancy may drop because of the opioid epidemic. These are worrisome results and they prove once again that drug overdoses are a serious problem in the American society.
The ongoing opioid epidemic is decreasing the life expectancy
The study analyzed changes between 2000 and 2015 and they discovered that the life expectancy increased by two years, but the numbers could have been bigger if they weren’t affected by the numerous overdose deaths. In fact, there has been an increase in the number of suicides and disorders caused by vices such as alcohol poisonings various, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
This is the first major drop since 1993 and life expectancy went from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015.
The opioid epidemic will only get worse
Sadly, the future is looking grim. Drug addictions have only become worse. In fact, last year more Americans died of drug overdoses than they have ever died from HIV/AIDS, car crashes or gun violence.
And illegal drugs are not the biggest problem. Many people use painkillers and there have been numerous deaths caused by them. In 2016 almost two-thirds of all drug overdose deaths were opioids deaths (more than 33,000).
As a consequence of that, officials have imposed strict rules for all doctors, so that only people who need painkillers will be able to receive them.
There is some good news
On the bright side, there have been fewer deaths caused by cancer, heart disease, diabetes kidney disease, influenza and pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and cerebrovascular diseases. Because of that, the life expectancy from 2000 to 2015 gained two years and three months. Sadly other new threats affected this number.