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Death rate among young adults: rising

Emergency personnel respond to overdose cases at a park in New Haven, Conn., in August 2018. Associated Press/Photo by Arnold Gold/New Haven Register (file)

Death rate among young adults: rising

Young adults in the United States are dying more often than they did seven years ago. That reverses the trend of the past 100 years, when public health, sanitation improvements, and the development of antibiotics led to longer lives. Now at a time of general peace, healthcare spending increases, and low unemployment, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report issued last week spotlights the bad news.

Why the increase? One cause: more suicides. Another cause: The rate of drug overdose deaths in 2017 (21.7 per 100,000 Americans) was 3.6 times the rate in 1999. The National Institute on Drug Abuse displays a series of nine charts: heroin deaths, sharply up. Methamphetamine deaths, sharply up. Cocaine deaths, sharply up. Opioid deaths, sharply up. Benzodiazapine deaths, sharply up. Ironically, doctors prescribed some drugs in an attempt to minimize pain—and look at the misery that has resulted.

Hannah Harris

Hannah is an associate producer and reporter for WORLD Watch. She is a World Journalism Institute and Covenant College graduate. Hannah resides in Asheville, N.C.


Marvin Olasky

Marvin is the former editor in chief of WORLD, having retired in January 2022, and former dean of World Journalism Institute. He joined WORLD in 1992 and has been a university professor and provost. He has written more than 20 books, including Reforming Journalism.



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