The Per Capita Cost Of The Opioid Crisis In America

By NotAJediOrSith · Mar 26, 2018 · ·
  1. NotAJediOrSith
    In terms of costs per capita the opioid epidemic sweeping across the United States of America has hit West Virginia, Washington D.C., and New Hampshire the hardest by far, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday (03/20/18) by the American Enterprise Institute. This study breaks down costs identified by the White House Council of Economic Advisors, which estimated that the epidemic cost the country $504 billion in the year 2015 alone in mortality costs, healthcare costs, productivity losses and criminal justice costs

    These estimations were derived from “local wages, health care costs and criminal justice costs along with variation in opioid-related death and addiction rates, and average age-adjusted value of statistical lives lost,” according to the report. Of the lower 48 states, including Washington D.C., West Virginia suffered the highest total per-capita burden by far at $4,378. Followed by Washington D.C. ($3,657); New Hampshire ($3,640); Ohio ($3,385) and Maryland ($3,337). In a stark contrast Iowa ($705), Mississippi ($703), Texas ($653), Montana ($596) and Nebraska ($394) experienced the lowest cost per capita, with Nebraska being the lowest in the country. Although, Alaska and Hawaii were excluded from the analysis on the account of difficulties in obtaining reliable and consistent data.

    "The misuse and abuse of prescription opioids as well as the addiction and abuse of heroin in the United States imposes incredible hardship on those who are addicted, their families, communities, and the economy more broadly," the report concludes. "As overdose deaths and costs associated with opioid abuse rise, policymakers are increasingly looking for ways to stem the epidemic. Identifying the local per capita economic burdens should inform policymakers in this effort."

    The working paper is to be published next week and it was released a day after President Donald Trump unveiled his administration’s most comprehensive agenda to combat the epidemic since he declared it an official public health emergency back in October 2017. The plan includes policies to increase the availability and accessibility of treatment, lowering the number or prescriptions and increased penalties for drug dealing, including minimum sentences and the death penalty in certain instances.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 42,000 Americans died of opioid-related overdoses in 2016. The National Institutes on Drug Abuse estimate that an excess of 115 people die daily in America from using prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl. This death toll totals to more than the number of deaths related to guns, car crashes and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

    How do you feel about the proposed increased penalties for drug dealing/trafficking? Particularly the mandatory minimum sentences and possible death penalty. Do you think that would have any significant effect on stemming the tide of the epidemic or would the results be trivial?

    The Full Study Can Be Found Here: The Geographic Variation in the Cost of the Opioid Crisis

    Original Source

    Written by: Katelyn Newman, Mar 20, 2018, The Per Capita Cost of the Opioid Crisis, U.S. News

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  1. Saragreenbear
    "Very informative and factual without opinion."
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  1. Delia
    This is old data, but relevant for comparison purposes.

    "The consequences for health care, well-being, and mortality are severe. Excess drinking caused on average more than 88,000 deaths in the U.S. each year between 2006 and 2010, the Centers for Disease Control estimates—more than twice the number of deaths from prescription opioids and heroin last year. The total includes drunk-driving deaths and alcohol-linked violence, as well as liver disease, strokes, and other medical conditions. The CDC says drinking too much is responsible for one-in-ten deaths among working-age Americans."*

    That is from 2010, I'm aware of Americas fascination with stigmatisation and judgment of people who use or abuse opioid prescription medication but in 2010 the number far outweighed the effect of any or all opioids.

    So, what is being done? Easy answer, nothing. People judge what they don't understand.

    The digits don't add up, there is a problem but if you are going to analyse one drug you need to take the time to compare it to other (legal) drugs avalible.

    The death penalty is not appropriate. The prison system is already inundated with 'criminals' and the mental health system appears (as a non-American) to be either ineffective or inadequate.

      Reasonable and NotAJediOrSith like this.
    1. NotAJediOrSith
      The media coverage is a bit sensationalized, I think. But, I also think that it is important that it is. All of the figures in the articles are “estimates”, of course, but roughly 115 people dying a day is unacceptable. Particularly when a large chunk of that group is dying from doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals.
  2. Andrew60
    When legal drugs prescribed like ciggerates and alchohol dont have but a personal penalty then how can you bring in death penalty for street drugs
  3. Thecrystalship
      NotAJediOrSith likes this.
  4. Dragon7613
  5. Andrew60
    As long as there's people doing heroin and opioids legal or not they make money and as they say money is the root of all evil and some dealers by so much that it has a minimum of 20 year penalty so I don't really see that there's that much fear of the death penalty it's the same thing goes for murder but murders are committed every day
  6. JaneGault
    I would like to know what "certain instances" are believed to warrant punishment by death. Could mention of the death penalty be mere propaganda?
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