'Deaths of despair': Opioid overdoses, alcohol abuse and suicide driving lower life expectancy in US

abc_news.png

Life expectancy, often considered to be a barometer for a nation's overall health, has dropped for the third year in a row in the United States, and it's primarily because of an increase in drug overdose deaths, alcohol abuse and suicide, a new study has found.

Although life expectancy in the U.S. increased by almost 10 years between 1959 and 2016, to 78.9 years from 69.9 years, that progress began to slow down in the 1980s and plateaued in 2011, according to the study, published in JAMA.

Close