A new state report shows Missouri’s death rate reached a record high for the sixth consecutive year. According to the report, the leading cause of death continues to be heart disease, followed by cancer and chronic lung disease.

Then-Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks in Winchester, Missouri on October 23, 2018 (file photo courtesy of Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

During a U.S. Senate floor speech, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley says the trend is from drug overdoses, suicides and crime.

“Here are the facts. Opioid-related deaths in Missouri have more than doubled in the past decade. The number of suicides is up by over 50%. And there’s no end in sight. And it’s not just Missouri,” says Hawley.

Hawley says the explosion of overdoses, crime and suicides is leading to the decline of the middle class.

“All Americans suffer from deaths of despair, but it is working people and working families who have been hit hardest. And so now the working middle of this nation is fighting to survive,” he says. “These numbers are tragic, but they are more than that. They are the signs of a crisis,” he says.

Hawley says the struggle brings Missourians together.

“And in my state, it is a struggle shared by white and black alike, and those of every race. Because the breakdown of family — and neighborhood — the loss of good work — and the epidemic of addictive drugs — these things know no racial boundaries. This is a struggle we are in together,” he says.

Hawley says the future of America will be defined by how the challenge is met.

To view the full report, click here.

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