According to the CDC, the amount of opioid painkillers peaked in 2010, but as of 2015, the prescribing rate remained three times as high as in 1999, when the nation’s problem with opioid addiction was just getting started.
Although it has not yet been declared an official emergency by the federal government, the opioid epidemic continues across the country. Georgia is no exception. There are 0.77 prescriptions for every person in Georgia.
Every day in the United States 91 people die of opioid overdose. That includes prescription opiates and heroin. Over a year, that’s more than ten times the number of people who died on 9/11.
Health care providers, law enforcement, and government officials continue to attempt to adapt. While new laws and procedures are being introduced to help address the abuse of prescription drugs as well as heroin and other opiate-based drugs, new threats such as fetanyl continue to complicate an already complex public health calamity.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the economic cost of prescription opioid abuse was over $78 billion in 2013.
A variety of aspects contribute to the staggering economic impact of opioid abuse. The impact goes far beyond skyrocketing health insurance expenses, a large part of the economic impact includes costs associated with treatment, incarceration and criminal justice. The largest contributing factor comes from lost productivity due to reduced productivity time, overdoses, and drug-related deaths.