“Once championed as the answer to chronic pain, opioid medications and painkillers have become a large and costly problem in the United States. Addressing this problem would cost money, too, but evidence suggests it would pay for itself.
Recently, the Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council conducted an economic analysis of expanding opioid treatment in New England states. The council found that as access to treatment increased, total costs of treatment also grew, but savings to society increased even more rapidly. For instance, New England states could save $1.3 billion by expanding treatment of opioid-dependent persons by 25 percent.
It’s clear that treatment for opioid dependency is underprovided for a variety of reasons, and that this, in turn, helps promote the growth in the problems dependency causes. But it’s also clear that those dependent on opioids aren’t the only victims. Because of the social costs the problem causes, many others are as well.”
Source: New York Times – August 4, 2014