Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
Suicides and drug overdoses pushed up U.S. deaths last year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Source: “Suicide, at 50-Year Peak, Pushes Down U.S. Life Expectancy,” Associated Press, November 29, 2018).
Overall, there were more than 2.8 million U.S. deaths in 2017, or nearly 70,000 more than the previous year, the CDC said on November 28. It was the most deaths in a single year since the government began counting more than a century ago.
The increase partly reflects the nation’s growing and aging population. But it’s deaths in younger age groups — particularly middle-aged people — that have had the largest impact on calculations of life expectancy, experts said.
The suicide death rate last year was the highest it’s been in at least 50 years, according to U.S. government records. There were more than 47,000 suicides, up from a little under 45,000 the year before.
Drug overdose deaths also continued to climb, surpassing 70,000 last year, in the midst of the deadliest drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history. The death rate rose 10% from the previous year, smaller than the 21% jump seen between 2016 and 2017.
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio recently released the second in a series of inventories and scorecards analyzing Ohio’s policy response to the addiction crisis and outlining areas where the state could be more effective.
The new report, “Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard: Overdose Reversal and Other Forms of Harm Reduction,” provides policymakers and other stakeholders with the information needed to take stock of Ohio’s policy response to overdose deaths and other addiction-related harms.