Communities are being devastated by the opioid crisis. The heartbreak can’t easily be quantified, but other costs can be. Opioid-related healthcare costs, lost wages and burdens on our judicial system cost more than $72 billion annually. Worse, the estimated value of life lost is nearly six times that.
Where do these burdens fall? On a per-capita basis, the nonfatal burden is highest in DC ($352) and Washington State ($312). When considering both fatal and nonfatal costs, no state comes close to West Virginia at $4,793 per person.
Measuring the problem is easy. Solving it is the challenge.