This last Thursday the Center for Disease Control (CDC) came out with death statistics for this last year. I know, it’s a pretty downer thing to be looking at. But when you are in the healthcare field these are the things that interest you. With this set of data it’s not only interesting but also very alarming and sad. The overall life expectancy is actually starting to decline in our country and it’s due to deaths that are preventable and in younger and younger Americans.
Some of the simple statistics that are driving this decrease in life expectancy are in the areas of suicide and drug overdose. There was a 5% increase in suicides last year and there was a 10% hike in drug overdose deaths last year and 31% if you look at the last 2 years. These numbers are crazy when looking at big statistics. A 2% increase is significant so when we see 10% that is off the charts. Another statistic that is trending in the wrong direction has to do with the number one killer in the US and that is heart disease. It’s death rate had been trending down for over an entire decade and now this last year has started to head in the other direction. So what is the deal?
The CDC does not speculate as to why these things start to change but there are a lot of experts out there that do. With the suicide side of things they are starting to blame an overall sense of hopelessness that people are feeling due to the stressors of the world we live in…financial issues, social media trends, political divisiveness etc. There is a lot of opinion with this but I would agree that people are getting unhappier all the time. They are overly concerned as to what others think about them and have not even learned to love themselves. That’s a whole other topic that we don’t have the time to get into but it’s real.
As for the drug overdose deaths it’s widely known that opioid use has skyrocketed and the general use of prescription drugs continues to rise. People are medicating themselves into “health” which is a short-term fix and a long term train-wreck. The opioids are just one thing. They have become an addictive, deadly situation for all walks of life. This problem doesn’t care what family you grew up in, what your job is or what neighborhood you live in. More people are dying every day from their usage. On the other side is the general prescription drug use. It’s pretty simple to see that the more drugs, the more vaccines, the more intervention does not mean more health and longevity. The opposite is actually true. Take for example last years flu season, a record number of Americans received the flu vaccine and during that same “season” there was a record number of deaths from the flu. This straight from the CDC. I’m not getting into the debate of flu shots but what I am pointing out is that the expanded use of medical intervention (drugs, vaccines and surgeries) does not mean more health for people. It actually means more problems for all ages. This is a statistical fact.
Long story short, this is what fuels my fire with what we do. I’m tired of people being unhappy and living hopelessly and sometimes making the ultimate decision of suicide and I’m also disgusted with the amount of people living on drugs in an effort to find health. Not the recreational stuff, I’m talking prescription drugs. Most people would agree that these things need to change but they don’t know where to start. I get it. It’s a huge mountain. But it’s a mountain worth climbing. That mountain affects my children and your children and still affects us as adults.
Change starts with all of us challenging the status quo. I’m not talking about arguing with others. I’m talking about challenging your beliefs on how people are designed and what makes them happier and healthier. Is it random chance? Is it something your genetics create? No and no. It’s a choice. It takes work to create both health and happiness. It takes strong discipline to start to change your thoughts from hopelessness to power. It takes faith and certainty to be able to approach your health in a different manner than your neighbors. It takes thick skin to do things that others don’t and to deal with the ridicule and comments from friends and family. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
My strongest desire is to be a voice for you to learn and grow your certainty that different path. I want to give you the strength to be bold and brave in your life and begin to approach things differently. My hope is that your beliefs get challenged, they begin to change, your actions will start to follow and then the results will speak for themselves. There is no perfect answer to any of this but your health and happiness is more in your control than you have been told. It’s actually a decision that YOU CAN make. I’m here to help with that. I’m fired up about changing the statistics. Help me out. Help your family out.