For the second straight year, the US Center for Disease Control has downgraded American Life Expectancy Rates. The last two years of the Obama Administration saw a drop of nearly one year aggregated from national death statistics.
The CDC listed drug-related deaths as a major cause of the decline. This category was the 3rd leading cause of premature death (behind heart disease and cancer); up from 4th in 2015 and 5th in 2012. The Obama Administration denied there was any serious problem with narcotic addiction; but to put this in perspective, the US hasn't seen a three-year decline in Life Expectancy since the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1920. That was the most fatal global epidemic since the Black Plague of 1347-1350.
The largest demographic measured by the CDC was in 25-34 age group, which rose 11% over 2015. Narcotic overdoses were the leading cause of death and had risen 50% since 2014 alone. About 140 Americans die of overdoses every day. This is a higher figure than US fatalities incurred during the entire Korean War. Two-thirds of these were prescription opioids; primarily Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and Tramadol. And, since the new Administration began its crackdown, we're seeing that many of the people were turned on involuntarily by corrupt physicians and pharmacists.
President Trump declared a National Health Emergency in 2017 to address the problem. The Administration has made some significant progress in breaking the supply-chains for these drugs as well as extending drug-treatment programs. In December, Trump repealed an Obama-Era regulation which prohibited emergency personnel from possessing and administering antitoxins. Previously, overdose cases had to be transported to a medical facility to receive treatment. The new rule allows for immediate treatment.
The biggest component that the US has faced when dealing with narcotics has always been from the demand side. The Reagan Administration began a fairly successful program of anti-drug education. But Democrat and RINO Administrations elevated it to a 'Drug War' which was largely a failure. Obama's Administration took a head-in-the-sand approach and mostly dropped the problem onto state and local officials. Local governments either followed Obama's example and denied the problem, or conversely, made a spirited attempt to stop it. Usually though the latter were overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the addiction rates.
Thus, the demand-side of the narcotics epidemic is really at the center of the issue. It's a double-edged problem because at a certain point a chronic addict loses control of his will power. This is why Trump's proposals have a good chance of success. They cover all three aspects: education, enforcement, and treatment. Trump's approach is much more humane than the Bush/Clinton policies in that users are helped instead of incarcerated; the latter reserved for the distributors and traffickers. It is also an improvement over the Reagan policies in that it takes proactive measures.
Hopefully, then, 2017 statistics will show a reversal in these trends. It was another social problem of the Deep State Era that went unchecked.