Heroin use costs US more than $50B, study suggests

The nation's heroin epidemic cost the U.S. approximately $51 billion in 2015, according to a study published in PLOS One.

To create an estimate of the fiscal burden of heroin use on a national level, researchers created an analytic model that included the cost of incarceration, lost productivity and death. The model also accounted for the cost of treatment for heroin use disorder, neonatal abstinence syndrome and chronic infections related to intravenous drug use such as HIV and hepatitis.

Researchers determined the overall cost of heroin use, based upon 2015 estimates, to be $51.2 billion, which amounts to $50,799 per person with heroin use disorder.

"The annual cost of heroin use disorder to society in the United States emphasizes the need for sustained investment in healthcare and nonhealthcare-related strategies that reduce the likelihood of abuse and provide care and support for users to overcome the disorder," concluded the study's authors.

More articles on opioids: 
NYC family physician arrested for prescribing 2.2M oxycodone pills 
Maryland drug overdoses up 66% in 2016: 7 report findings 
CDC: Hospitalizations for heroin-related infections on the rise in North Carolina

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