New Technologies Can Help States Fight Opioid Abuse
Drug overdose deaths have reached crisis levels in the United States. According to the National Vital Statistics System, 78 Americans die from an opioid drug overdose every day, more than any other cause of death. Prescription painkillers and heroin are the main drivers of this deadly epidemic, with certain areas of the Northeast, Midwest, and South suffering disproportionately.
Prescription painkiller abuse plays a serious role in the recent spike of overall drug abuse. Many who become addicted to opioids begin by taking prescription painkillers following a traumatic accident or surgery, or to aid in the day-to-day management of chronic pain. Somewhere in the process of managing pain the individual becomes addicted to opioids.
Pain management significantly impacts more than 100 million Americans, which not only increases costs to our health care and criminal justice systems, but is also a key contributor to lost workplace productivity. Rasor and Harris estimated that chronic pain is the second-leading cause of absenteeism from work, following the common cold. It has been estimated that long- and short-term chronic pain management costs the U.S. between $560 billion and $635 billion annually.
Heck, Mia. (2016, April 19). New Technologies Can Help States Fight Opioid Abuse. RealClearHealth. Retrieved from http://www.realclearhealth.com/articles/2016/04/19/new_technologies_can_help_states_fight_opioid_abuse_epidemic_109815.html