Remember when nearly every year the life expectancy of Americans was on the rise? That’s not the case anymore!

Although the life expectancy drop has been small in America, it’s still on the decline. What has happened?

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, drug overdoses and suicides are reasons for the decline. Information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows life expectancy has fallen by one-tenth of a year to 78.6 years. The sharp increase in suicides and the continuation of drug overdose deaths are making an impact on life expectancy in America.

The decline is somewhat surprising considering the advances made in nearly all aspects of medicine and health care. The exceptions are in mental health and in combating illegal drug use. Also, there were increases in influenza, pneumonia and diabetes that added to the decline.

The Journal said the 2017 data does not paint a bright picture of health and well-being in America. Maybe somebody ought to tell the bad news to the migrants who are knocking on our door to get into America. While unsettling, the small decline in life expectancy in the United States is far better than in many countries. We hope the decline is not a trend in the making.

Deaths from drug overdoses and suicides are troubling, to be sure, and it’s a challenge to solve those problems. We can’t expect the government to solve all the problems. All segments of society need to be involved.