While the global average of life expectancy is increasing, new data from the Centers for Disease Control shows Americans are dying younger because of increasing drug overdoses and suicides. There was a nearly 10 percent increase in drug overdoses in 2017, killing more than 70,000 Americans. The suicide rate increased by 3.7 percent from last year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. This is a phenomenon that only seems to be happening in the United States, according to CDC's chief of mortality statistics. "If you look at the other wealthy countries of the world, they're not seeing the same thing,” he said.
Class discussion: With a strong economy and low unemployment, why are so many Americans giving up hope and their lives? What other factors can lead someone to such despair? Are we becoming more isolated from other people? Is our growing use of electronic communications devices and social media actually separating us from each other and making us more lonely? How often do you see people sitting together but ignoring one another because they are busy with their cellphones? Do you do the same thing? Do we need to spend more money treating drug addiction and depression? Do we need to change our treatments for these illnesses?
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