Opioid overdoses on the rise: CDC

Opioid overdoses on the rise: CDC

More Americans are dying from opioid overdoses, according to new data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Life expectancy dipped for the second year in a row, from 78.7 years in 2015 to 78.6, according to the data, as the federal government and lawmakers work to respond to the epidemic of painkillers, heroin and synthetic drugs gripping the nation. 

Deaths from opioid overdoses increased nearly 28 percent, from roughly 33,000 in 2015 to more than 42,200 in 2016.

It's the first time since 1962-1963 that life expectancy fell two years in a row.

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Powerful synthetic opioids contributed largely to this trend. These substances, such as fentanyl, can be 50 times more potent than heroin, and deaths from synthetic opioids more than doubled, to about 19,400, in 2016.

In late October, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, saying in a speech that “we can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”

The move didn’t free up significant funding or send a request to Congress for additional money.

Democrats and many advocates have been calling for more funding to address the crisis plaguing both urban and rural communities across the country. It doesn’t appear that Congress is likely to dole out more dollars any time soon, as lawmakers look to avoid a government shutdown and leave Washington, D.C., for the holidays at the end of the week.