According to a new study, the US opioid epidemic ravaging American communities has cost over $1 trillion since 2001, and may exceed another $500 billion over the next three years.
The health systems research and consulting organization, Altarum examined US mortality data between 2001 and 2017. The greatest financial cost of the opioid epidemic is in lost earnings and productivity losses to employers.
Early deaths and substance abuse disorders also take a toll on the local, state and federal government through lost tax revenue. The report indicated that these costs are also rising.
Corey Rhyan, a senior research analyst with Altarum’s Center for Value and Health Care explained that one reason for the increase is that more young people are being affected as the epidemic moves from prescription opioids to illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
The Altarum researchers say the growth in costs between 2011 and 2016 was double the rate of the previous five years and is projected to keep rising steeply unless there is a comprehensive and sustained national response.
Opioids are drugs formulated to replicate the pain reducing properties of opium. They include both legal painkillers like morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone prescribed by doctors for acute or chronic pain, as well as illegal drugs like heroin or illicitly made fentanyl.
The word “opioid” is derived from the word “opium. US government and healthcare officials have been struggling to stem the epidemic of overdoses, which killed more than 64,000 Americans in 2017, up from 52,000 the previous year. More than half were related to opioids.
Opioid drug abuse has killed more Americans than the US wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined, highlighting the growing opioid crisis in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
USA citizens are paying the price for the greed and inhumanity of their officials like the rest of the world’s citizens. This is one way the USA gets rid of the poor in the country. The other one is get them to join the US Army so they can become cannon bait.
When you live in a country where the most powerful state arm, the CIA, is the number one cultivator, producer and provider of opioids in the world, it is ridiculous to expect that USA would be left out of the circle of death and destruction that these products affect the entire world.
PressTV.com / AA Magnum News 2018.