An epidemic of hopelessness - Opinion

An epidemic of hopelessness

Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 10:00 am

The health news last week from the federal government was startling. Overall, mortality is up and life expectancy has fallen for the first time since 1993, particularly for Americans under age 65. It appears that the progress in longevity that we have come to expect is reversible.

Some of the deaths may be linked to obesity. But experts are also looking at what might be called the hopelessness epidemic –  the explosion of drug use and suicide, linked to a number of causes, including economic despair. But that’s not the whole picture. Much of America’s middle-class is now suffering from opioid addictions that some studies trace to uses that began with legal drug prescriptions.

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