The Consequences of Substance Use Disorder
January 31, 2019
Now that you understand the facts about today’s opioid crisis, it’s essential to explore the consequences of substance use disorder. In addition to taking tens of thousands of lives,1 addiction tears families apart, deprives individuals of their livelihood, and generally imposes enormous burdens on society.
Consequences of Substance Use Disorder
- For the first time in modern history, life expectancy in the United States has declined. The rise in adult mortality rates is directly linked to fatal drug overdoses.2
- The annual economic cost of the opioid crisis in the United States is estimated at $504 billion – taking into account lost productivity, healthcare bills, and criminal justice-related costs.3
- Individuals who suffer from opioid addiction incur medical costs of approximately $65,000 per year, compared to the average annual healthcare expenses of about $11,000 for individuals not afflicted with substance use disorder.
The good news is that there is now widespread acknowledgment that opioid addiction is a massive problem of unprecedented proportions. However, not enough is being done to solve the problem. Solutions are scarce, but most of the healthcare community agrees that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) represents the best way of managing opioid addiction and promoting sustained, long-term recovery.
In our own backyard, access to effective treatment on Long Island is sorely lacking. At one end of the spectrum, there are inpatient residential treatment programs that cost upwards of $2,000 per day and typically target average stays of 30-60 days. That means getting help can cost anywhere between $60,000 and $120,000 – an expense that the majority of those suffering from substance use disorder cannot afford. Those who enter high-end residential programs like this can quickly relapse once discharged if they do not have access to ongoing disease management. At the other end of the spectrum, individual primary care physicians will at times dispense medication-assisted treatment but offer no other care, such as behavioral health therapy. This is an incomplete solution that often fails to achieve sustained recovery.
Bridging the Gap
Victory Recovery Partners (VRP) is here to bridge the gap. Launched by the founders of STAT Health, a large chain of successful urgent care centers that treated substance use disorder patients throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties, VRP’s experienced staff combines medication-assisted treatment with behavioral health therapy, as well as ongoing case management – all in a cost-effective, convenient outpatient setting.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- American Journal of Medicine
- Council of Economic Advisors (CEA)