For the second year in a row, the United States life expectancy has dropped from 78.7 in 2015 to 78.6 in 2016. That follows a drop from 78.9 in 2014.
The last time the United States has recorded a multiyear drop in life expectancy was in 1962 and 1963. Leading researchers state the reduction in life expectancy has been significantly impacted by young people dying from opioid related deaths.
A report released by the CDC found drug overdoses jumped significantly in 2016 to 42,200 up from 33,000 opioid deaths in 2015.
The rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids also jumped significantly, from 3.1 per 100,000 in 2015 and 6.2 per 100,000 in 2016. These numbers suggest that the opioid epidemic isn't getting better, its dramatically worsening. Early data from 2017 shows that the United States may be in for another drop in life expectancy as well.
Depression and suicide are a growing problem and one of the many reasons why one turns to drugs in the first place. In a world riddled with electronic devices, concrete jungles, and sitting for hours under fluorescent lights, it's obvious we have lost our relationship with our natural surroundings. Do yourself a favor and go kayaking, hike a mountain, or sit by a campfire and come back and tell me that you don't feel immensely better. Ecotherapy, also known as green therapy, nature therapy, and earth-centered therapy is a growing field that has been shown to help with mental health disorders, energy depletion, fatigue, and improving mood. Being under the sun also help your body convert inactive forms of Vitamin D into the active for of Vitamin D that has been shown to reduce certain cancers, increase bone density, and help with depression. Bottom line move your body, get out in nature, and bask in the sunlight.