Economic Burden of Opioid Abuse

A study by Analysis Group affiliate Howard Birnbaum and Managing Principals Alan White and Paul Greenberg, among others, quantifying the economic burden of opioid abuse on society was published in Clinical Journal of Pain (October 2006). The authors note the lack of published research on the costs of abuse of prescription opioid analgesics such as OxyContin, despite the increasing prevalence of such abuse.

They assessed the cost of abuse in the United States across multiple cost driver categories, including health care treatment, the criminal justice system, and the workplace, and determined the total impact (for 2001) to be $8.6 billion (or $9.6 billion expressed in 2005 dollars).

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