Deaths due to drug overdoses exceed 70,000, reducing life expectancy in the United States


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By Maggie Fox

The number of drug overdose deaths exceeded 70,000 in 2017, an increase of almost 10%, reaching a new record, according to new government statistics released Thursday.

Suicide rates also increased by 3.7%. Together, these two causes of premature death reduced life expectancy in the United States for the second year in a row, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.


"The latest data from the CDC shows that life expectancy in the United States has declined in recent years. Tragically, this disturbing trend is largely due to deaths from drug overdose and suicide, "said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, in a statement.

"These sobering statistics are an alarm bell: we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to avoid preventable conditions."


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