The opioid epidemic hasn’t just had a devastating impact on the lifespan of Americans, but also on the nation’s economy. It has cost billions of dollars to the nation as a large chunk of the population stayed away from workplace. This has been corroborated by a newly published study by the American Action Forum (AAF). The medication had a profound influence on the productivity as nearly 1 million people (aged 25 to 54) remained absent from work in 2015 because of the opioid addiction problem, which grew every year from 1999 to 2015.
The study authors calculated that the loss of employees’ productivity took a heavy toll on the economy, costing a total reduction of $702 billion or almost $44 billion loss every year. Co-author Ben Gitis, director of labor market policy in the AAF, said that there was a reduction of work hours by 0.2 percent in the particular period.
Gitis said not just opioids are causing fatalities, they are majorly hindering the country’s economic growth. He extrapolated the research results of Princeton University economist Alan Krueger, who said that a decline in labour participation of 20 percent and 25 percent was found for men and women, respectively due to an increase in the prescriptions for painkillers.
Kruger also noted that regions with the maximum number of opioid prescriptions observed a high number of employees dropping off. Based on Grtis’s research also, for girls, more work hours have been lost between 1999 and 2015 (6.4 billion) than men (5.7 billion). Unfortunately, employers around the country such as Wildlife Control Houston are having a tricky time in filling the vacancies because people are not able to pass the drug test.
Effects of opioids on body
The long-term use of opioids can have a devastating effect on just about all the body parts. Opioids can cause daytime sleepiness for which a stimulant might be required to counter the effects. Prolonged use is also related to the development of major depression. Regular use may lead to slow breathing, respiratory depression, resulting in organ failure. Opioid abuse can also be responsible for causing nausea, constipation and for slowing down the gastrointestinal motility, which could result in perforation, small bowel obstruction and peritonitis.
Opioid use may result in psychomotor impairment in which there is a general slowing of the bodily movements and lack of coordination. Long-term use may also result in hyperalgesia characterized by an increased sensitivity to pain and can also be responsible for low resistance. People abusing opioids frequently take acetaminophen which could lead to acute liver injury. If alcohol is added to the mix, it may result in liver failure as its capacity for excreting the toxins gets affected.
It’s time that health authorities understand the magnitude of the problem and accelerate efforts in combatting the harmful effects. Addiction to opioids not only harms the consumer but also his or her family. Before it’s too late, an individual must seek intervention to set things straight.