The United States is facing an opioid use crisis. Of the 23.5M Americans suffering from addiction, it is estimated that nearly 2.5 million Americans have a substance abuse disorder related to either prescription opioids, heroin or other opioids. It is estimated that the nonmedical use of opioid pain relievers costs health plans billions annually. Every day, more than 100 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), opioid abuse costs employers approximately $10 billion from absenteeism and presenteeism alone.