U.S. drug overdose deaths set a new record in 2017 amid an ongoing public health crisis

More than 70,000 Americans died due to overdose in 2017. This set a new record amid an ongoing public health crisis thus, contributing to the decline in average life expectancy nationwide.

Death from overdose shot up nearly 10% from 63,632 in 2016 to 70,237 in the U.S. in 2017, according to a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

John Auerbach, President and C.E.O. of the Trust for America’s Health stated that another year of increasing numbers of drug overdose deaths is a national emergency that cannot be overstated.

Unintentional overdoses accounted for the majority of drug overdose deaths in 2017 at 87 percent, as noted by the report authors. While 7 percent of the deaths were due to suicide, 5 percent were undetermined and less than 1 percent were homicides.

The sharp rise in drug overdose deaths as well as suicides in 2017 were main factors contributing to the ongoing decline in life expectancy in the U.S. since 2014, as shared by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfiel.

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