To get a clearer sense of just how bad our drug overdose problem has gotten, look no further than this year’s County Health Rankings. The annual report found that after years of declining premature deaths, that rate is on the rise and due primarily to overdose deaths. It means we could be seeing the first generation of American kids with shorter life expectancies than their parents.
This year’s County Health Rankings once again illustrate why geography and good health go hand-in-hand. They’re also a poignant reminder that there may be no better way to improve health for all than by focusing on the social determinants of health.
A new study finds that dropping out of high school greatly increases the risk of illness and disability in young adulthood. It's another example of why education is one of the greatest social determinants of health and a key leverage point in improving health across the lifespan.