CDC: US Life Expectancy At 25-Year Low As Drug Overdoses Surge

U.S. life expectancy dropped to a 25-year low in 2021 as nearly 107,000 Americans died from drug overdose deaths last year, per data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Thursday.

This marks the second year in a row that life expectancy has decreased —the average American born in 201 is now predicted to live 76.4 years instead of 77 years in 2020 or 78.8 years in 2029, according to the report.

The CDC reportedly blamed COVID-19 as the primary driver for the rise in deaths last year but also said that drug overdose deaths helped fuel the fatality rate.

Other recent years have proven fatal as well. As the CDC noted, the United States saw over 93,000 Americans die of drug overdoses in 2020.

The organization published another report Thursday that claimed drug overdose deaths among U.S. residents increased by nearly 16 percent, from 91,799 deaths in 2020 to 106,699 in 2021.

Dr. Nora Volkow, who directs the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told CNN that she agreed with the CDC’s conclusion that COVID-19 and drug overdoses were the largest factors fueling the surge in deaths in the U.S. last year.

“The pandemic had a magnifying effect on an already-devastating overdose crisis, and exacerbated many of the stressors in society that make people more vulnerable to taking drugs,” explained Volkow.

The CDC report revealed that fatalities from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl shot up drastically by 22 percent from 2020 to 2021. Meanwhile, death by heroin dropped by 32 percent.

“We also know that substance use is more dangerous than it has ever been, as fentanyl has continued to permeate the illicit drug supply, increasing the risk for overdoses among both people with substance use disorders as well as those who use drugs occasionally,” Volkow said.

Breitbart News broke down overdose deaths between several groups of people based on age and ethnicity:

Drug overdose deaths were highest among American Indian or Alaska Native people, increasing from a rate of 42.5 deaths per 100,000 individuals in 2020 to 56.6 in 2021. Overdose deaths among black people also increased significantly from 35.8 to 44.2, while white people increased from 33.1 to 36.8.

Hispanic people saw a rise in overdose deaths from 17.6 to 21.1, while Asian people had the lowest increase, from 4.6 to 4.7.

Those aged 33-44 years had the highest number of overdose fatalities in 2021 at a rate of 62.0, followed by the 45-54 year cohort at 53.8, the 25-34 year cohort at 52.9, and the 55-64 year cohort at 45.3.

Drug overdoses have reportedly contributed to over a third of unintentional deaths.