Listen now (37 mins) | Last November 9th I discussed declining life expectancy in the US with Dr. Steven Woolf, i.e., US life expectancy stopped increasing in 2010 and had been decreasing since 2014. This is significantly due to increasing mortality rates among men, disproportionately white men aged 25-64, for approximately 30 disease conditions ranging from cancer, cerebrovascular, circulatory, genitourinary, infectious mental and behavioral, musculoskeletal, nervous, and respiratory diseases. These premature deaths have become popularly termed, "deaths of despair," a phrased coined by Princeton's Anne Case and Angus Deaton and is the title of their 2020 book, “Deaths of Despair and the the Future of Capitalism." These authors define these deaths, numbering on average 70,000 per year, as those resulting from alcohol and drug abuse and suicide. For example, per CDC findings in July drug overdoses increased to 90,000 in 2020, or by 30% over 2019. While deaths of despair have been identified at least since the 1890s, federal policy makers have yet to seriously address this issue.