CDC: Kentucky ranks fifth in the nation for 2017 overdose deaths

01 December, 2018, 09:01 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses

Yet a second CDC report revealed that the rate of drug overdoses jumped 9.6 percent between 2016 and 2017, totaling 70,237 deaths a year ago. And it is thanks in large part to increases in drug overdose death and suicide, according to supplementary reports simultaneously released by the CDC.

"Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation's overall health, and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable", CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a statement Thursday.

The Washington Post notes that other factors contributed to an increased death rate previous year, including a spike in influenza deaths as well as fatalities from chronic low respiratory diseases, Alzheimer's disease and strokes.

Heart disease remains the number one killer, and the death rate from heart disease has stopped falling. She notes that many people may have suicidal thoughts prior to an overdose, or that others may take their lives to escape addiction. However, since 2008, suicide has ranked 10 and has been growing at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, Texas (about 10 drug overdose deaths per 100,000), North Dakota (about 9 per 100,000), South Dakota and Nebraska (both about 8 per 100,000) had the lowest rates in 2017. Accidental drug overdoses accounted for one third of unintentional injury deaths while intentional overdoses made up roughly a tenth of suicides, according to the CDC.

Rates increased both for men (from 8.2 in 1999 to 29.1 in 2017) and women (from 3.9 in 1999 to 14.4 in 2017).

"I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless, and that that leads to drug use, it leads potentially to suicide", said Dr. William Dietz, a disease prevention expert at George Washington University. From 2016 to 2017, the age-adjusted death rate for the entire population increased by 0.4 percent.

That's not quite cause for celebration, said John Rowe, a professor of health policy at Columbia University in NY.

A baby born in the U.S., in 2017, is now expected to live 78 years and seven months.

Levine said Vermont has "hovered around the national average" for overdose deaths for several years.

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Though deaths from overdoses of all types of opioids have increased since 1999, the change in mortality induced by synthetic opioids other than methadone, meaning products like fentanyl, has had the most alarming upswing. "We're seeing a drop in life expectancy because people are dying in their 20s [and] 30s", McHugh said.

The suicide rate in the most rural counties is almost double that in the most urban ones, the data shows.

Deaths from flu and pneumonia rose by about 6 percent.

America will have to curtail its escalating suicide rate if it ever hopes of becoming truly great again.

Despite the sharp recent increases in drug-related deaths, some early signs suggest that 2017 could be the peak of the overdose epidemic.

In 2016, 21.6 per cent more people died from overdoses compared to 2015.

In 2017, the suicide rate for the most rural counties (20 per 100,000) outpaced that in the most urban counties (about 11 per 100,000).

The national death rate has risen in each of the past five years.

"Maybe it's starting to slow down, but it hasn't turned around yet", Rowe said. In 2017, it about 60 percent of them were by gun.


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