How to Reverse the Life Expectancy Trend

My Thoughts Based on What I’ve Read and Learned, and My Own Experiences

Please note, I am not an expert. These are just my observations based on what I’ve read and learned from life.

Recently, I read a article in the Washington Post that said the US life expectancy had declined again in 2017, “a dismal trend not seen since World War I.” According to the article, in 2017 Americans could expect to live 78.6 years overall — men could expect to live 76.1 years on average, and women could expect to live 81.1 years. The main cause of death was found to be drug overdoses, especially from opioids and the drug overdose antidote naloxone. What causes people to want to abuse these drugs, and how can we reverse this trend? I’m going to provide my ideas and insight in this article.

Why did people become addicted to opioids?

According to an article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the late 1990s pharmaceutical companies started telling the medical community that their patients would not become addicted to opioids, so medical providers started prescribing them to their patients more. This led to misuse of the medications before people realized that these medications could be highly addictive. Inicidents of people overdosing on opioids started to increase.

So what can we do to reverse this trend?

There are a few things you can do to reduce the stress in your life without using drugs:

Find other ways to reduce stress and increase energy.

I realize that a lot of people get started on these drugs because they’re stressed out or depressed, or just want to get a “high.” But there are plenty of ways to relieve stress and depression, and to get more energy without resorting to drugs. These include:

  • Meditation
  • Writing in a journal, or talking to others.
  • Exercising

Take health supplements

Visit your doctor and find out if your stress or depression could be because you’re lacking in certain nutrients. If so, find out if there are supplements you can take to raise the level of those nutrients in your blood. Some supplements you can take that help relieve stress and anxiety include lemon balm, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, valerian and kava kava.

Light a candle

Lighting a scented candle can help relieve stress. Common scents for stress relief include lavender, rose, vetiver, bergamot, roman chamomile, neroli, frankincense, sandalwood, ylang ylang, orange or orange blossom, and geranium.

Spend time with friends and family -

When I feel down, my friends and family help me feel better, because they show me what’s good in my life. Some of them even provide good advice on how I can overcome my problems.

Cut your caffeine intake

A small amount of caffeine can be good for the body, but too much can increase anxiety. If you start feeling anxious or jittery and you drink a lot of caffeine, consider cutting back.


It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re laughing. Whether you’re watching a funny tv show or movie, or reading something funny, laughter can help relieve stress and relax your muscles, which relieves tension. It can also help improve your mood and boost your immune system.

Learn to say no

Take charge of your schedule, and know when you’ve already taken on too many commitments. Taking on too much, especially at this time of year, can make life extremely stressful.

These are just a few ways to reduce stress without using opioids — there are many others. If you have any experience or suggestions, I’d love to hear them — please feel free to respond to this article, and if you found it helpful please give it a clap.

I started writing in elementary school and never stopped. I enjoy sharing stories about my hard-learned life lessons and writing advice.

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