The headline that the Providence Journal gave to a Washington Post story, “Fueled by drug crisis, US life expectancy declines for a second straight year,” hides the key point:
Overall, life expectancy dropped by a tenth of a year, from 78.7 to 78.6. It fell two-tenths of a year for men, who have much higher overdose death rates, from 76.3 to 76.1 years. Women’s life expectancy held steady at 81.1 years.
American women now have five full years of additional life, on average, than American men. You better believe that if the sexes were reversed that would be not only the headline, but a theme for national coverage everywhere for a week.
Looking at a leading cause of the change only amplifies the point:
Men of all ages (26 deaths per 100,000) are twice as likely to die of a drug overdose as women (13 per 100,000).
In Rhode Island, where female Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo hosts an annual student contest that discriminates against boys, the number of overdose deaths among men is almost three times that of women:
The most important antidote to drug use and overdose isn’t a government program, it’s hope. Unfortunately, that’s only a word on our flag in Rhode Island.