The life expectancy in the US dropped for the second year in a row as deaths from overdoses rose by 21 percent. Here’s where we are with the opioid crisis. According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 64,000 people died of drug overdoses in America in 2016, with heroin and prescription painkillers by far the leading culprits. That’s more fatalities in one year than total US casualties during the entire Vietnam War. And the epidemic continues to escalate—faster than ever.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whom Trump tapped to head his Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, noted in July that “142 Americans are dying every day of a drug overdose.” About six in 10 of those are caused by opioids. A Washington Post analysis found that overdose death rates for people between the ages of 25 and 44 have risen for nearly every racial and ethnic group across almost all US states.
Trump told reporters in New Jersey, "The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I'm saying officially, right now, it is an emergency. We're going to draw it up and we're going to make it a national emergency. It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had."
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