Opioid abuse cuts into U.S. life expectancyStaff Writer | September 21, 2017
Rising death rates from opioid abuse are chipping away at Americans' life spans, a U.S. government study finds.
Drugs Ominous trends
But buried within that broad pattern were some ominous trends. The death rate from drug overdoses more than doubled, while that from opioids, specifically, more than tripled, said lead researcher Dr. Deborah Dowell.
She is with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of unintentional injury prevention.
By 2015, drug-related deaths had shaved 3.5 months off of Americans' life expectancy, Dowell's team found. And whites were the hardest hit.
Most of that lost life span was pinned on opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) and codeine.
Earlier this month, another government study highlighted the toll that heroin alone has taken.
Between 2002 and 2016, deaths from the drug soared by 533 percent nationwide - from just under 2,100 deaths to more than 13,200. ■