Government researchers announced life expectancy in the United States fell for the second year in a row in 2016 — claiming it’s clear the epidemic of drug overdoses is at least in part to blame.
Life expectancy for a baby born in 2016 fell to 78.6 years, although a minor decline of 0.1 percent, while mortality from drug overdoses rose by 21 percent. See National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
“This was the first time life expectancy in the U.S. has declined two years in a row since declines in 1962 and 1963,” the NCHS, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug overdoses accounted for a large proportion of these. The NCHS found that 63,600 people died of drug overdoses in 2016. “The majority of these overdose deaths were unintentional,” the NCHS team, led by Dr. Holly Hedegaard, wrote.
The death rate from drug overdoses rose 18 percent a year from 2014 to 2016. In 1999, 6.1 per 100,000 people died from drug overdoses rising to 19.8 per 100,000 in 2016. This epidemic stems from a significant increase in deaths from synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and tramadol, while there’s been a somewhat smaller increase in heroin deaths.
I pioneered a critical program at the Workers Compensation Administration in 2010 to assist injured workers. Many were receiving opioid prescription drugs to manage their pain. My research suggested patients could be shifted to medical cannabis rather than relying on prescription opioid use for chronic pain patients. Clinical studies now show a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use cannabis and significant reductions in opioid use.
Unfortunately, my bureau chief, Richard Adu-Asamoah, and agency deputy director, Thomas Dow, denied my requests for additional training. People die in America due to the petty games of privileged and powerful managers.
More about this history at MeToo: Glenn R. Smith Conspiracy