“More than 30 percent of prescribed opioid painkillers — one in three prescriptions — to employees of large American companies is being abused, a new study suggests.
The study, “The Opioid Crisis in America’s Workforce,” was commissioned by Castlight Health, a California-based information company that allows employees of subscribing companies to compare providers. It used anonymous data from nearly 1 million employees of its large corporate clients, each of which used Castlight’s health benefits platform from 2011-2015.
Among its findings:
- Opioid abusers cost employers nearly twice as much in healthcare expenses, on average, than non-abusers.
- Baby boomers are four times more likely to abuse opioids than are the younger millennials — although that may be because the risk of developing a condition that causes chronic pain increases with age. Opioid abusers, the study said, have twice as many pain-related conditions as do non-abusers.
- Opioid abusers are most likely to live in the rural South. The study ranked American cities, and the Tri-Cities area in upper East Tennessee was No. 9 in the country for opioid abuse rates, with 8.6 percent of residents abusing painkillers, and No. 13 for the percentage of opioid prescriptions being abused. Nearly half — 46.7 percent — of opioid prescriptions written in Johnson City and Bristol are abused, the study said.”
Source: KnoxNews.com – April 22, 2016