Opioid use is costing hospitals $15B, 6.5k+ serious infections & more — 5 key statistics on opioid use's toll on our nation's health

Written by Mary Rechtoris | June 10, 2016 | Print  |

Opioid use and misuse is reaching epidemic proportions, with hospitals spending billions of dollars on admissions relating to use and the drug claiming the lives of thousands, according to Kaiser Health News.

Here are five key statistics on opioids:


1. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of hospitalizations related to opioid use and dependence increased from 302,000 to 520,000, according to a Health Affairs study.


2. The number of those patients with serious infections such as septic arthritis and endocarditis increased from nearly 3,400 to 6,535 in that time frame.


3. In 2012, hospitals were billed almost $15 million for opioid-related inpatient care, up almost two-fold from their 2002 billing for such services.


4. Of that $15 billion, hospitals used more than $700 million to treat patients with the associated infections.


5. Opioid overdoses claimed the lives of 28,000 people in 2014.


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