Cost of Opioid Epidemic Hits $1 Trillion and Still Rising

As the day begins and we sip our morning coffee, we think. We think about all the war and famine in other countries. We think

Mar 5

As the day begins and we sip our morning coffee, we think. We think about all the war and famine in other countries. We think about our family lives and close interpersonal relationships. We think about the funny John Belushi video we watched the other night while laying in bed. All of these things cross our minds, or maybe just mine, but these are usually some of the easier things to stomach upstairs.  

Ironically, of all these things, they have one particular thing in common: opiates. The war on drugs is a seemingly imaginary thing battle that we are losing casualties too. Of those consistently premature casualties, some of them happen to be our friends and families nowadays. The famous Blues Brother himself was a victim of overdose and the ramifications of opioid misuse. The bodies of our loved ones are piling up while the cost of the opioid epidemic continues to inflate. This is hopefully not a hopeless battle, but with addiction, numbers rising- it’s clear there are some emanant changes that must be made.    

You see, addiction is this monster of a disease that rots all healthy thinking and proactive acting. It’s this disease that begins to do all of the talking. It engulfs while causing continually poor decisions after the next. No amount of sheer willpower can stop it. That’s the thing about it- many people deal with it knowingly but do not have access to prevention or treatment like some. So they’re left to their own devices. Left with just the voice of alcoholic thinking, most are doomed to jails, institutions, and death.  That right there is the foundation for the reasons why the cost of the opioid epidemic has reached $1 trillion. Relapse rates are always increasing and pharmaceutical companies are always producing. What can you do?

Make Money, Take Money

While chemical dependency numbers rise and cost of opioid epidemic follow suit, everybody is left to wonder what it’s going to take for this insanity to end. On one hand, you have Big Pharma and it’s a conglomeration of pharmaceutical companies that are pumping out opioids in a very misconstrued manner. These companies often contain drug lobbyists that are connected to specific political agendas. Essentially many of the pharmaceutical companies are in the pockets of the government. So then we have a government that is trying to slow down a problem that is also making them money in some cases. Only in some cases. They’re not all crooks. Nonetheless, this is one unexamined perspective on the rising cost of opioid epidemic.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really anybody specific that can be blamed directly for the rise in the cost of opioid epidemic. Nor is there anybody specifically to point the finger at for the increase of those that are becoming addicted daily but still don’t have connections to the help they actually need. Nope. Money is still being spent in the wrong areas and families, friends, and businesses are having to find out the hard way. In fact, a non-profit organization that studies health economy by the name of Altarum explained that the most expensive factor attributed to the rising cost of the opioid epidemic is the lost earnings and productivity losses to employers. All the premature death is brought about by this opioid genocide costs quite a bit on state and federal government through dissipated revenue.   

Keep Spending, No Ending

When we do the official lineup for the opioids that are affecting the masses. The pill bottled cell block looks like:

  • Carfentanil
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Oxycontin
  • Oxycodone
  • Heroin

Of course, there are many others to blame, but these are the big wig opiates that are usually seen dropping bodies like flies. These are the prescription drugs that you often see associated with heroin- the last soul-sucking opiate listed and is more than ready to destroy your quality of life. The only difference is heroin isn’t packaged up and sold by licensed snake oil salesmen. It’s sold by drug dealers illegally on the streets, as are many of the pills, but that’s why the legalities of it all are so questionable. That is another exact reason as to why the cost of the opioid epidemic is ever rising.

As of right this moment, this opioid crisis we speak of has cost the government up to $1 trillion since 2001. At the rate it is going, a few studies suggest it will cost another $500 billion over just the next 3 years. Not only is that a ton of money, but we are also a country that is in debt and really doesn’t have that kind of money to spend it seems. 1 trillion is a very large number that most wouldn’t bat an eye at because they don’t recognize it. Just to give perspective: 1 trillion seconds is equivalent to 31,709.8 years. Let that sink in… Now again, we’ve spent $1 trillion on the cost of the opioid epidemic over the last 18 years roughly. Wow.   

Trump to the Rescue?

With the facts at hand, it’s apparent that it won’t be easy stopping this plague. The War on Drugs has been waging since the Nixon era, but it was a different fight then. Opioids/opiates have corrupted our system and brought a country to its knees easier than any other narcotics have done. This is bigger and more expensive than the crack epidemic that festered in the 1980s.  

Fortunately, everything that has occurred can no longer be ignored. Not just by us- the people, but it can no longer be ignored by those at the top of the pyramid “running” our country. President Trump declared the nation to be in a “state of emergency” not too long ago. Yay, words. Lately, however, Congress has made a suggestion of possibly spending $6 billion over the next two years to try and eliminate some of the problems. We must spend more money to fix the cost of opioid epidemic related issues, unfortunately.

Clearly, for the United States, this is a tough one. We are used to bombing our problems away, but this is one that can’t be salvaged with mushroom clouds. We are essentially at war with an imaginary disease that is wreaking havoc on the nation as we panic to figure out a solution. We will soon enough, but hopefully soon enough is soon enough.  

Start Somewhere

The death rate is as high as they are because we stand by looking clueless as our castles burn and life crumbles into ruins. That’s addiction for you. Be proactive and do something to stop it from taking over. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-663-3030 or visit Our teams of specialists are standing by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.


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