Report: Opioids decrease life span by 2.5 months

Public health officials believe opioids reduced life expectancy for people in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014

By EMS1 Staff

WASHINGTON — A new analysis revealed that opioids are decreasing the average life span for Americans.

CNN reported that opioid drugs are not only killing Americans, but taking two and a half months off of their lives, according to a new analysis in the medical journal JAMA.

American life expectancy dropped for the first time since 1993 in 2015, and public health officials believe opioids played a part in reducing life expectancy for non-Hispanic white people in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014.

The average life expectancy for Americans is now 78.8 years based on 2015 data, which is a decrease of 0.1 year, or about a month, from the previous year.

Researchers said data for opioid-related deaths was probably not gathered correctly because of gaps in how death certificates are completed.

When the data is finalized, the CDC expects drug overdose deaths to top 64,000 for 2016.

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