A study led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found opioid usage has been taking 2.5 months off life expectancy in the U.S. from 2000 and 2015.
The findings were published in the Journal of American Medical Association.
While the overall average life expectancy increased from 76.8 to 78.8 witin that time, the life expectancy in the U.S. halted in 2014 due primarily due to opioid deaths among white and non-Hispanics.
Researchers say opioid deaths increased from just over 8,400 deaths in 2000 to just over 33,000 in 2015, while death rates from nepsis, heart disease, influenza, stroke, and diabetes are down.
They gathered this information by studying the death certificates in each state over the past 15 years. Yet the AFP reports that autopsies and death reports are faulty and there could be even more underreported opioid deaths.