A Map of Preventable Death in America

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map 835860 640

Here’s a subject that we do not like to discuss much, the subject of death. Death is an unpleasant topic, an issue that no one really feels all that comfortable talking about, one that always brings us down.

But we need to talk about death, especially when it comes to preventable death, i.e. a death that was not natural or ordinary for one reason or another. These are the deaths that often bring with them the most sadness and loss because these are the deaths that are completely unnecessary.

When we look at current causes of preventable death, there is some good news, and then there is some bad news too. On the good news front, fewer people are dying from traditionally “high-death” items. Deaths caused by preventable causes like cancer, stroke, and heart disease are all decreasing in tandem. However, the bad news is that just as deaths in one category decrease, deaths in another category increase.

CDC Research Indicates that Drug Abuse is the Fastest Growing Cause of Preventable Death

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tasked with much, and one of their responsibilities is to correctly analyze and graph causes of death in the United States. Every year, the CDC maps out causes of death, analyzing what is causing more death that year and what is causing less death that year. The results are usually quite informative as they enable us to draft programs and preventative measures designed to reduce such deaths.

According to the CDC, roughly fifty-five to seventy percent of deaths that occur in the United States are preventable. The CDC is able to create a map of sorts that indicates what causes death and what does not. These figures can be compared on a state-to-state basis, and they can also be compared over a period of time.

In the last three years:

  • Deaths from cancer have dropped by twenty-five percent as cancer treatments have become more advanced and effective.
  • Deaths from stroke have decreased by eleven percent as emergency medical responders have become more adept at not only recognizing a stroke but also at treating a stroke as soon as it occurs.
  • Heart disease fell by four percent as science and medicine have become more effective in treating such an ailment.
  • However, preventable deaths from unintentional injuries (driven primarily by drug abuse) leaped forward by twenty-three percent. After years of unintentional, accidental deaths creeping up from drug use, the last three years saw a spike in unintentional deaths from drug use that was all but unprecedented.

According to CDC director Tom Frieden:

  • “Fewer Americans are dying young from preventable causes of death. Tragically, deaths from overdose are increasing because of the opioid epidemic, and there are still large differences between states in all preventable causes of death, indicating that many more lives can be saved through the use of prevention and treatment available today.”

The Threat of Preventable Death

Life is a never-ending game of winning some and losing some, it seems. As preventable death reduces in some areas, it increases in others. It seems that this is the trial that our country faces if it’s not one thing, it’s the other.

The truly miserable thing about the current status quo is that preventable death today occurs from people who choose to engage in a deadly, dangerous activity, not from people who fall ill with a condition and do not get the right kind of medical care fast enough. There is nothing more miserable than watching one’s family member or loved one slowly poison themselves to death with a drug habit.

This is why drug and alcohol rehabilitation is so important for those who are hooked. Getting off of a drug habit is a requirement because if a person doesn’t break free, it will likely be the end of them.





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