EffectsEffects Drug AbuseSocial IssuesSocial Issues Drug AbuseTreatment / SolutionsTreatment / Solutions Drug AbuseGeneral HealthDrug Abuse TreatmentDrug AbuseEffects Of Drug AbuseMental HealthSocial Effects Of DrugsPain ManagmentOpioidsPublic HealthDrugs
HealthDay operates under the strictest editorial standards. Our syndicated news content is completely independent of any financial interests, is based solely on industry-respected sources and the latest scientific research, and is carefully fact-checked by a team of industry experts to ensure accuracy.
- All articles are edited and checked for factual accuracy by our Editorial Team prior to being published.
- Unless otherwise noted, all articles focusing on new research are based on studies published in peer-reviewed journals or issued from independent and respected medical associations, academic groups and governmental organizations.
- Each article includes a link or reference to the original source.
- Any known potential conflicts of interest associated with a study or source are made clear to the reader.
Please see our Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy for more detail.Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy
HealthDay Editorial Commitment
HeathDay is committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of impartial editorial standards in the content that we present on our website. All of our articles are chosen independent of any financial interests. Editors and writers make all efforts to clarify any financial ties behind the studies on which we report.
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Abuse of powerful prescription painkillers called opioids costs the U.S. economy $78.5 billion a year, according to a new government study.
Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the financial toll of opioid abuse, including direct health care costs, lost productivity and costs to the criminal justice system.
"More than 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Families and communities continue to be devastated by the epidemic of prescription opioid overdoses," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "The rising cost of the epidemic is also a tremendous burden for the health care system."
The study, led by Curtis Florence of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, found that health care accounted for about 30 percent of the costs associated with opioid abuse in 2013. Total spending for health care and substance abuse topped $28 billion. Insurance covered most of it, the study found.
Nearly 25 percent of the economic burden was shouldered by public sources. They included Medicaid, Medicare and other public insurance as well as government-funded treatment programs.
State and local governments shouldered most of the $7.7 billion in criminal justice-related costs. They also lost tax revenue because productivity slipped, the study showed.
The researchers reported that nearly 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2013.
That same year, 16,000 people died of opioid overdoses -- up dramatically from 2007, the most recent year for which detailed estimates were available. Fatal overdoses cost the economy $21.5 billion, the study showed.
The study findings were published in the October issue of the journal Medical Care.
The researchers pointed out that their findings didn't take into account the reduced quality of life for people dependent on opioids or the heartbreak felt by the loved ones of those who overdose.
"The costs that we can identify, however, do help increase our understanding of the impact of the epidemic," the study authors said in a journal news release. "These estimates can assist decision makers in understanding the magnitude of adverse health outcomes associated with prescription opioid use such as overdose, abuse and dependence."
The researchers said they hope their findings will lead to better ways to deal with the epidemic.
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse provides more information on opioids.
This story may be outdated. We suggest some alternatives.
The content contained in this article is over two years old. As such our recommendation is that you reference the articles below for the latest updates on this topic. This article has been left on our site as a matter of historic record. Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
Read this Next
Other Trending Articles