Opioid deaths in the U.S. decreased in 2018 after years of steady increases, while the U.S. life expectancy ticked up for the first time in four years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.
Between the lines: The effort to combat the opioid epidemic appears to be working, although the problem is far from solved.
- More naloxone, fewer opioid prescriptions, higher treatment rates and a strong economy have all contributed to the declining death rate, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said.
By the numbers: Life expectancy rose from 78.6 years in 2017 to 78.7 years in 2018.
Yes, but: There's also some bad news.
- The rate of drug overdose deaths from synthetic opioids — like fentanyl — increased by 10% between 2017 and 2018.
- Cocaine and meth overdose deaths are also on the rise.