THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) — The millions of Americans caught in the grip of an addiction to opioids — prescription painkillers or heroin — remained the leading health news story of the past year.

The scourge is now so widespread that, just last week, research suggested that deaths from opioid overdoses may be the biggest factor driving a decline in overall U.S. life expectancy.

If the trend holds, “we could have more than two years of declining life expectancy in a…

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