CDC: Life expectancy drops again in U.S. in wake of opioid crisis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the nation's opioid epidemic is a major driver behind its decision to decrease life expectancy projections.
An infant born in 2016 is now expected to live 78 years and 7 months. That is down one month from 2015, and three months from the year before.
In fact, the CDC says U.S. deaths from drug overdoses were up 21 percent in 2016. There were more than 63,000 last year – 42,000 of those were related to opioid overdoses.
The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, or LICADD Westbury office, created a legacy tree to honor those who have fought but lost their battle with substance abuse disorders.
"This devastating health care crisis of substance abuse disorders is taking the lives of Long Islanders, New Yorkers and Americans at a rate we've never before seen," says LICADD executive director Steve Chassman.
Tatiana Green, of Franklin Square, says while she was able to survive her own battle with heroin addiction, she knows many others are no longer alive to say the same.
"When you are in that dark place, call someone that you trust and love. Allow them to be there and just know that that feeling you're going through, it will pass, and you will see a brighter day," says Green.