130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. According to the CDC, the rise in opioid overdose deaths can outlined in three waves. The first increased with the prescription of opioids, the second increased in overdose deaths involving heroin, and the third marked a significant increased in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
The opioid crisis cost the United States more than $1 trillion between 2001 and 2017. According to an Altarum report, most of this cost comes from productivity losses and lost earnings. The health care expenses related to the opioid epidemic totaled more than $215 billion during that time. This number is largely from emergency room visits to stabilize patients after an overdose.
Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. According to the CDC, this issue has become a public health crisis with devastating consequences including increases in opioid misuse and overdoses. The increase in injection drug use has also led to the spread of infectious diseases including hepatitis C and HIV.