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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Addressing the Costs of Untreated Addiction

The impact of prevention and treatment of mental illness like addiction is significant, considering that both efforts save lives. People in the grips of alcohol and substance use disorders can and do recover from this deadly disease, provided however that they have assistance. Those who attempt to overcome addiction on their own, more times than not, fall short of the mark. Encouraging anyone with a mental health disorder to seek help is not just right for the individual, it’s essential for everyone.

It should go without saying that more than just the alcoholic or addict feels the impact of addiction. When individuals suffer, so too do friends and family; such people go to great lengths to help those with the disease get help. If recovery doesn’t come to fruition, there is significant emotional toil for such people. Friends and family members will also help people with addiction financially, i.e., treatment, medication, and hospitalization costs. In many cases, mothers and fathers pay bills for their sick loved one. At times such behavior is healthy, in other instances, it’s enabling; the difference between the two is often a gray area.

Most people understand that addiction treatment services are costly, saving a life can involve many addiction experts and treatment stays before recovery takes root. Lasting recovery is usually brought about by enlisting the help of outside parties; it’s difficult to avoid such costs. For most mothers and fathers there is no limit to what they would invest in the well-being of their child.

Focusing On Treatment for All

addiction treatment
Unfortunately, not every addict and alcoholic can still rely on friends and family to invest in their well-being. When that occurs, any form of help the addict or alcoholic requires comes from the state. Nary an American is unfamiliar with the havoc wrought by opioid addiction, with around a hundred people dying of overdose each day. Emergency services spare substantially more people from premature death, i.e., first responders, emergency room visits, and state and local mental health services. As you can probably imagine, much of the epidemic's financial toll stems from emergency hospitalization.

Altarum, a nonprofit group that studies the health economy, analyzed CDC mortality data through June of last year, NPR reports. The organization's assessment indicates the cost of the opioid epidemic, from 2001 to 2017, is upwards of $1 trillion. Emergency room visits, ambulance costs, and the use of naloxone accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars.

Much of the financial toll stems from work productivity and tax losses, given that young people in the grips of addiction are unable to hold down employment. Of course, the significant mortality rate from opioid use has drained the American workforce as well. If things do not change, researchers predict that in the next three years the epidemic will cost at least another $500 billion. The cost growth is occurring at an exponential rate; avoiding such increases will depend mainly on investing in addiction treatment services. The Altarum researchers say we need a “comprehensive and sustained national response.”

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

When people go to treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders, they have the best chance of achieving long-term recovery. Any delays in seeking help can lead to disastrous consequences; please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea to begin the life-saving journey of recovery.

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