Accidental deaths in the United States increased significantly in 2016, becoming the third leading cause of death for the first time in more than a century, a trend driven by the sharp increase in opioid overdoses, reports the National Security Council . 19659006] Accidents – defined by the council as unintentional and preventable injuries – claimed a record 161,374 lives in 2016, an increase of 10 percent over 2015. They include motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings and poisonings, a category that includes accidental overdoses.
NSC said in a statement: "The unprecedented increase [in accidental deaths] has been driven by the opioid crisis, deaths from involuntary opioid overdoses totaled 37,814 drugs including prescription opioid analgesics, heroin and fentanyl illicitly manufactured "
In comparison, deaths in motor vehicles were 40,327 in 2016, an increase of 6.8 percent over the previous year. Deaths related to falls also increased by almost 4 percent and drownings and fire-related deaths experienced a slight increase over 2015, an increase of 5.1 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. The only category that showed a decrease were deaths due to asphyxia, which fell by 4.4 percent.
Ohio led the country in deaths from opiate overdoses, with 3,495, followed by New York, with 2,752 and Florida, 2,622.
Deaths from poisoning reach a peak for those in their 30s, but there is another increase in the early 50s, statistics show.
The NSC writes:
"Preventable deaths have been increasing since 2009 after years of declines and plateaus, and only heart disease and cancer exceed when it comes to the number of lives lost annually. Other causes of death, preventable injuries are a threat at every age.
Despite the current increase in deaths, Americans are even safer than in the early 1900s. In 1903, the accident standardized the death rate was 99.4 p 100,000 inhabitants, double the current mortality rate of 47.2 However, the current mortality rate is 39 percent higher than the lowest recorded rate, 34.0, reached in 1992. "
In October, President Trump declared a public health emergency to combat the opiate epidemic, a movement designed to free up some resources for treatment. He also directed department heads and agencies to use all appropriate emergency authorities to reduce the number of deaths from opiates.
But the president's move is seen as a half-hearted measure by many of his working class supporters because it involves no new money. It does not comply with Trump's earlier promise to declare the crisis a "national emergency," which would have triggered an allocation of federal funds for the crisis.