Call Us Now: 1.888.OK GLENN | Translate

The Extended Impact of Opiod Abuse

Spotting the Spoofers
December 12, 2018
Why Do Will Executors Need To Be Bonded?
February 27, 2019
Show all

The Extended Impact of Opiod Abuse

This article was previously published in Insurance Advocate. Credit: MSO and Sue C.

Quimby, CPCU, AU, CIC, CP/W, DAE

Every day more than 130 people in the United States die from drug overdoses (www.drugabuse.gov). The opioid abuse problem is not limited to the abuser and their family. Opioid abuse impacts all of us, with estimated costs to the United States economy of over $78 billion per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These costs include addiction treatment, criminal justice involvement, health care and lost productivity, as well as increased workers compensation costs.

The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that nearly 21 million people suffer from some type of substance abuse. At least 2 million Americans abuse opioids. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

Employers can help to reduce the risk of opioid overdose by monitoring their health care program and offering alternative treatments, limiting the length of opioid prescription, especially initially, to five days, and limiting refills.

The impact of opioid abuse is not limited to overdoses and increased workers compensation costs. A study published by the Journal of American Medicine Association found that drivers who caused fatal car crashes were twice as likely to have taken prescription opioids. The number of fatal car crashes linked to drivers high on opioid painkillers has tripled in the past 25 years, according to a Columbia University study.

It has been argued that legalizing marijuana would help reduce opioid deaths. At one time, research indicated that opioid overdoses had decreased in states with legalized marijuana. However, a more recent study showed that states with legalized medical marijuana are now seeing opioid overdose rates 23% higher than the states without legalized marijuana (statnews.com).

Multiple lawsuits against drug makers and distributors are attempting to make these companies help fund the fight against opioid addiction. A 2019 Oklahoma court case blamed Johnson & Johnson’s “aggressive†marketing campaign for fueling the dependency crisis.

Opioid abuse has become a national problem, impacting society as a whole. Helping clients adjust to the changes and challenges imposed by the sharing economy is another value-added service of the professional insurance agent.

At Glenn Insurance, we want you to get the most value out of your employees and help them lead productive lives. Click here to learn more about workplace policies. [Link is https://glenninsurance.com/life-and-health-insurance/

Comments are closed.