The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report Thursday about how the rise of Opioid drug use has led to a higher incidence of opioid overdoses, resulting in a reduction of the average American Life Expectancy, the Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

The CDC report showed that in the year 2016, 63,000 citizens had died of the opioid drug overdose, which is up 21 percent from the statistics in 2015. Among most of those opioid overdosed victims, where the opioid use had surged the most to the tune of 28 percent, were from the ages 25 to 54.

In many cases, those who overdose usually have mixed several drugs. However, the CDC stated in their report that heroin, an illegal drug that has been around for decades, was the source of 15,500 deaths while opioid painkillers, usually obtained by prescription, such as the well-known opioids, fentanyl and OxyContin, and possibly other painkillers, was the cause of 14,500 American deaths. The CEO of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Auerbach, stated that the situation is becoming increasingly scary and urgent, due to the increase of the painkiller usage and he sees the situation getting worse, with more deaths if nothing is done about it.

Average American life expectancy declines

Looking at the statistics, with the increase of opioid overdoses, the U.S. average of life expectancy has fallen 0.1 percent since 2015. There was a drop, however, at the height of the AIDS outbreak in the United States back in 1993. The last consecutive drop was in 1962 as well as 1963 with the first time of an average of life expectancy that was notable, was in the 1920s.

The Agence France Presse news agency reached out to Robert Anderson, who is the chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Anderson told them that what he is seeing is that two years in a row is quite shocking and that the increased factor for the life expectancy decline pertained to the increase of the opioid overdoses resulting in more deaths.

Moreover, the increase in opioid use has increased the rate of hepatitis C infections, where there was a 133 percent increase among 93 percent of those using opioids on a continuous basis.

Calls for immediate actions, solutions

This latest report and its dire statistics of opioid use have medical experts and United States lawmakers calling for more to be done. Back in October, President Trump and his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis declared that the crisis is getting out of control and more must be done to halt the epidemic. President Trump stated, “The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don’t start, they won't have a problem.”

The Deutsche Welle (DW) also reported that numerous U.S.

State Attorney Generals have gone after drug companies who develop opioids and took them to court, due to their state investigations. The object of the investigations is to see if any of the manufacturers and suppliers were involved in any unlawful practices with their marketing strategies that have led to the present opioid crisis.