The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also shows that Vermont's overdose death rate a year ago - 23.2 per 100,000 people, as per an age-adjusted formula - is lower than any other New England state.
As a result, the average life span in America dropped to "78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2016", said the report.
Overall, the statistics show a "downward trend in life expectancy since 2014", a time period in which Americans have lost 0.3 years of life, he told AFP, describing the trend as "very concerning".
In 2017, there were 70,237 fatal drug overdoses - an increase of 9.6 percent from 2016.
Between them, these causes accounted for approximately 75 percent of total deaths across the US previous year.
The rate of suicides has crept up from 10 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 14 a year ago.
Age-specific death rates between 2016 and 2017 increased for age groups 25-34, 35-44, and 85 and over. Life expectancy in 1918 was 39.
"The continuation of this trend is a warning for all of us that our country has not found a way of addressing the profound needs of the people who are dying", said Eric Caine, professor of psychiatry and director of the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
CDC & FDA
The average annual increase in suicide rates shifted from about one percent per year from 1999 through 2006 to two percent per year from 2006 through 2017.
The suicide rate is also the highest it has been in decades.
The last time the United States experienced this long of a general decline in life expectancy was in the late 1910s, when the Spanish Influenza and World War I killed almost 1 million Americans. In years past, declines in heart disease deaths were enough to offset increases in some other kinds of death, but no longer, Anderson said. And it is thanks in large part to increases in drug overdose death and suicide, according to supplementary reports simultaneously released by the CDC.
Place also mattered when it came to drug overdose deaths, with some states registering higher numbers than others, the report shows. Meanwhile, death rates increased for suicide, stroke, diabetes, flu/pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer's, and unintentional injuries.
West Virginia's rate, the highest in the nation, was 57.8 deaths per 100,000 people.
There is no solution to the continued decline in life expectancy forthcoming from the ruling class. The rate has been going up by approximately 71 percent per year since 2013.
"So the frustration that many of us feel is that there are things that could save many lives", he said, "and we are failing to make those services available".