AP NEWS

Hope must increase to halt life expectancy decrease

December 2, 2018

We gauge the condition of this county based on a number of factors.

One is the economy, which, by all accounts, is in a robust state. Yet, another factor paints a different picture.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday life expectancy in the United States dropped yet again in 2017, an alarming trend that hasn’t been witnessed since the period from 1915-18. The prevailing factors at that time were increased premature deaths caused by World War I and a flu pandemic, which combined to kill 675,000 Americans.

The twin culprits in the modern era are the escalating drug and suicide crises. More than 70,000 overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2017. Meanwhile, the suicide rate has climbed by a third nationwide since 1999.

There are all sorts of conclusions that can be drawn from this information, but one rather simple conclusion is this: Too many Americans lack hope and have turned to drugs and self-inflicted death to eliminate the pain that goes with that feeling.

How do we become more hopeful? That’s a question that can’t be answered in this limited space. But until we do, expect the increased deaths and shorter life spans to continue.

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