Indiana’s opioid crisis burns $43.3B annually


BLOOMINGTON and COLUMBUS, Ind.–A new study released on Monday by Indiana University has dropped a bombshell regarding the cost of the opioid crisis in the Hoosier State. Findings by IUPUC associate professor of finance Ryan Brewer, and doctoral candidate in finance at the IU Kelley School of Business Kayla Freeman, show that the total cost of this epidemic runs roughly $43.3 billion annually.

The pair studied the impact on state and local economies, the labor market, and the healthcare industry over a 15-year period. Since 2003, they report that 12,300 Hoosiers have been lost to opioid overdoses.

In terms of the labor market, the lack of workers who are not contributing to the workforce have resulted in a lower gross state product. In 2003, the lost gross state product was zero. That number in 2016 had risen to $1.72 billion. Potential lost wages reached $752 million in 2016.

Here are more facts uncovered by Brewer and Freeman:

  • Non-lethal opioid overdoses racked up over $224 million in hospitalization costs in 2016, with an additional $297 million in other opioid-related hospital stays.
  • More than $40 million is spent annually for rehabilitation costs.
  • Drug arrests and corresponding court expenses exceed $13 million annually, and costs of incarceration have reached more than $70 million each year.
  • The costs for neonatal abstinence syndrome births (i.e. babies who experience withdrawal at birth) totaled more than $36 million in 2016.
  • As of 2016, an estimated 5,200 Hoosier children were in foster care due to parental opioid misuse, a 600 percent increase from 2003.
  • Funeral expenses for victims of opioid overdose rose from $1.2 million in 2003 to $7.1 million in 2016.

Click here to read the full study by Ryan Brewer and Kayla Freeman.

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