How Much is the Opioid Epidemic Costing America?

In Addiction, Article by Tree House RecoveryLeave a Comment

Addiction comes at a high cost. When the numbers for the amount of overdoses occurring in 2015 came in, the country was shocked. Over 50,000 individuals lost their lives to opioid overdose in a single year. Opioid overdose surpassed gun violence and car accidents combined, quickly making it a leading cause of death for adults over the age of 50. As the conversation about opioid addiction spread, tension grew about whether or not the opioid epidemic was waning or gaining. In later 2017, the numbers for 2016 came in. Originally projected at 59,000, still a tragic increase, the numbers settled around 64,000, a startling increase. Opioid addiction is costing America tens of thousands of lives. The cost of opioid addiction does not end there.

In November of 2017, the Council of Economic Advisers released an analysis about the cost of the opioid epidemic on America. A study conducted in 2016, reports NBC, “estimated that prescription opioid overdose, abuse and dependence in the U.S. in 2013 cost $78.5 billion.” For 2015, that first tragic year of significant loss of life, the cost was $504 billion. This number is an estimate.

As the number of opioid overdose deaths indicated, the opioid epidemic had worsened. The article cites that overdose deaths have doubled in the past decades. A number of previous studies on overdose deaths didn’t specifically focus on the number of overdoses caused specifically by opioids. The studies which did give focus to opioids only focused on prescription opioids, not illegal opioids like heroin, or synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

For the family members and friends of loved ones who are living with an opioid addiction, the cost cannot be measured by a dollar amount. Watching a loved one develop, suffer through, and ultimately lose their life to addiction is incomparable. Addiction takes over a loved one’s life, changes the way they think, feel, and behave, causes destruction in their mind and body, and more. If you have a loved one who is struggling with opioid addiction, there is help available.

Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Our program pulls inspiration from the magnificent nature of the Pacific Northwest to help men find freedom from addiction. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information:  (503) 850-2474

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