New research from Indiana University says the opioid crisis cost the state $4.3 billion last year and will reach a similar level this year. The findings were pulled from 15 years of data that show opioid deaths have increased more than 500 percent over that time. It estimates some 12,300 Hoosiers have died since 2003 from opioid overdoses.

The research was conducted by IUPUC Associate Professor of Finance Ryan Brewer and Indiana University Kelley School of Business doctoral candidate in finance Kayla Freeman. Direct costs to the state in 2018, the study suggests, should exceed $1 billion.

Brewer says "while it is true the entire nation has been mired in the crisis, only a handful of states — including Indiana — have been struggling with the epidemic while also facing an increasingly tight labor market, which challenges our hopes of realizing strong post-recessionary growth in an economy where labor is increasingly difficult to find."

The finding, which cover costs related to families, hospitals and government agencies, include:

  • Non-lethal opioid overdoses led to more than $224 million in hospitalization costs in 2016 alone and an additional $297 million in other opioid-related hospital stays.
  • Rehabilitation costs exceed $40 million annually.
  • Drug arrests and court costs total more than $13 million a year and incarceration costs are over $70 million annually.
  • In 2016, more than 5,200 Hoosier children were in foster care because of parental opioid misuse.
  • In 2016, potential lost wages due to opioid misuse totaled $752 million.

Brewer and Freeman say "indications from national and local sources suggest communities across the country and within Indiana continue to experience worsening conditions and increasing numbers of misuse cases."

You can connect to more about the research by clicking here.

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