Fentanyl Is Killing America, Life Expectancy Dropping
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported that the life expectancy in the U.S. decreased in 2016 for the second year in a row. According to the CDC’s 2016 mortality report, the life expectancy for a member of the U.S. population born in 2016 was 78.6 years, down 0.1 years from the expectancy for a person born in 2015, itself a decline from 2014. The government figures released Thursday put drug deaths at 63,600, up from about 52,000 in 2015. For the first time, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins played a bigger role in the deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing prescription pain pills and heroin.
”This is urgent and deadly,” said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The opioid epidemic “clearly has a huge impact on our entire society.” Two-thirds of last year’s drug deaths — about 42,000 — involved opioids, a category that includes heroin, methadone, prescription pain pills like OxyContin, and fentanyl. Fatal overdoses that involved fentanyl and fentanyl-like drugs doubled in one year, to more than 19,000, mostly from illegally made pills or powder, which is often mixed with heroin or other drugs.”*
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