The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) recently published a report with a startling revelation for 2016. According to it, more American deaths were attributed to opioid fatalities than to breast cancer.
Additionally, evidence shows that the rate of drug fatalities spiked alarmingly within that year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blames the emergence of synthetic drugs like fentanyl and tramadol, substances that have created a toxic national crisis.
Opioids Crisis Still Affecting the U.S., Surpassing Other Problems
Of course, breast cancer death rates and opioid death rates cannot directly correlate. There is a host of inconsistencies between them, including age, race, gender, and availability of treatment.
Additionally, the number of deaths attributed to breast cancer has been decreasing since 1989. At the same time, the number of drug fatalities has been increasing since 1999.
The CDC saw the largest increase in drug fatalities from 2014 to 2016, around 18% per annum. According to these same reports, the number of synthetic drug-related deaths doubled from 2015-2016.
That 18% rate increase was significant enough to lower the average life expectancy in the U.S. for two consecutive years. This age was lowered for the first time since 1993. At the time, the age decreased due to the HIV/AIDS crisis.
The life expectancy average is overwhelmingly affected when numerous individuals die at a young age. For example, the life expectancy dropped just after young American men plunged themselves into the War in the Pacific from 1942-1945.
Once again, Americans who die at an abnormally young age from opioids constitute a prevalent, rather than outlying, factor in life expectancy.
The devastating effects of opioids have triggered one of the most stirring national crises since the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 90’s. Now, they also seem to have surpassed even the crisis brought on by breast cancer.
In due time, statistics for 2017 will emerge for both breast cancer and drug fatalities, and for the first time, it is questionable which will prove to be more dangerous to the national health.
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