The CDC released new numbers showing life expectancy in the U.S. increased in 2018.
A number of factors contributed to this, including a decrease in drug overdose deaths.
The number of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. decreased in 2018. This is the first time this has happened in nearly 30 years.
“It’s a turning point, and we hope it becomes a trend,” says presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Admiral Brett Giroir is Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.
“Prescription opioid overdoses that caused death are really down tremendously as a result of our work.” says Giroir.
U.S. drug czar James Carroll says one reason is the federal government partnered with states to increase availability of the anti-overdose drug Naloxone.
“It’s sort of like having a fire extinguisher in your home. You hope you don’t need it, but just in case, you have naloxone there,” says Carroll.
While the number of overdose deaths in 2018 fell by about four percent compared to 2017, the more than 67,000 deaths recorded in 2018 are still a near-record high.
Administration officials say there’s more work to do – like stopping the international drug flow through the southern border and from China.
A new law called the Stop Act requires that 100 percent of packages from China be screened for drugs. Administration officials admit right now only about 35 percent of packages are checked, but they say China is starting to do its part.
“Every conversation I had started with my Chinese counterparts started with we heard the president, we know this is important to American,” says Carroll.
Here at home, anyone who needs help can use findtreatment.gov to find personalized services to fight addiction.