Helping Affected Groups Fight the Opioid Epidemic
Millions of Americans have been hurt by dangerous highly addictive prescription opioids. The Bramzon Law Firm PLLC expert legal team is fighting for justice on behalf of individuals, municipalities, Native American tribes, and other minority groups. Contact us today, we can help.
The Opioid Epidemic is HERE.
Prescription drug misuse can have serious medical consequences. Increases in prescription drug misuse over the last 15 years are reflected in increased emergency room visits, overdose deaths associated with prescription drugs, and treatment admissions for prescription drug use disorders, the most severe form of which is addiction. Among those who reported past-year nonmedical use of a prescription drug, nearly 12 percent met criteria for prescription drug use disorder. Unintentional overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers have more than quadrupled since 1999 and have outnumbered those involving heroin and cocaine since 2002.
We can’t ignore the pricetag that this epidemic is creating. Here are the Prescription Opioids Annual Costs To The Nation (based on 2013 estimates):
HEALTH CARE COSTS: $26 Billion
OVERALL HEALTH CARE COSTS: $78.5 Billion
ADDITIONAL COST FOR POLICE AND PRISONS42%
We all pay for things like increased costs to the criminal justice system. A recent study estimated these costs to be over$5 billion in a recent year, including $4 billion just for new prisons and additional police.
COST TO EMPLOYERS92%
In addition to the direct medical costs, opioids make up one-quarter of all workers’ compensation prescription drug costs. In fact, workers who take opioids for longer than three months usually don’t return to work at all, due to dependence or other side-effects. In all, prescription painkiller abuse is costing employers an estimated $25.5 billion a year in missed workdays, lost productivity, and lost earnings from premature death.
From 2011 to 2015, the claims charged to insurance companies to treat opioid dependence or abuse grew from $72 million to $722 million — up over 1000%
The CDC Estimates Nearly Half Of All Opioid Overdose Deaths Involve A Prescription Opioid 3.
The Misuse Of And Addiction To Opioids—Including Prescription Pain Relievers, Heroin, And Fentanyl—Is A National Crisis.
More Than 90 Americans Die After Overdosing On Opioids Every Day.
Emergency Room Visits And Deaths Related To Opioid Overdose Have More Than Quadrupled In The Last 15 Years And Continue To Rise.
The total number of drug-related ED visits increased 81 percent from 2004 (2.5 million) to 2009 (4.6 million). ED visits involving nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals increased 98.4 percent over the same period, from 627,291 visits to 1,244,679.
The largest pharmaceutical increases were observed for oxycodone products (242.2 percent increase), alprazolam (148.3 percent increase), and hydrocodone products (124.5 percent). Among ED visits involving illicit drugs, only those involving ecstasy increased more than 100 percent from 2004 to 2009 (123.2 percent increase).
For patients aged 20 or younger, ED visits resulting from nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals increased 45.4 percent between 2004 and 2009 (116,644 and 169,589 visits, respectively). Among patients aged 21 or older, there was an increase of 111.0 percent.
MORE ALARMING RATES
ED visits involving adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals increased 82.9 percent between 2005 and 2009, from 1,250,377 visits to 2,287,273. The majority of adverse reaction visits were made by patients 21 or older, particularly among patients 65 or older; the rate increased 89.2 percent from 2005 to 2009 among this age group.
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