Report: Addiction epidemic cost WV $11.3 billion in 2019 | News


CHARLESTON — A brand new report from the West Virginia Middle on Funds and Coverage has estimated the habit epidemic price the state $11.3 billion in 2019 alone.

The report, written by economist Jill Kriesky, examines the {dollars} spent on treating and addressing the varied array of harms that stem from West Virginia’s present habit disaster, together with hepatitis B and C, HIV, endocarditis, neonatal abstinence syndrome and an overburdened foster care system.

Utilizing the identical methodology utilized by the Council of Financial Advisers to the President of america in its 2017 evaluation of the opioid epidemic within the U.S., Kriesky estimates the financial damages attributable to drug-related fatalities in West Virginia totaled round $9.7 billion in 2018 and $9.8 billion in 2019. The report additionally discovered it price Kanawha County $1.7 billion in 2019.

These figures characterize practically 15% of the state and county gross home merchandise.

The report seems to be carefully at Kanawha County as a result of it’s dwelling to the state capital but in addition, because the report states, as a result of it has not had as strong a response to the epidemic as different areas, notably Cabell County.

Regardless of being known as the “middle of the opioid epidemic” at one level, Cabell County’s deadly overdose fee fell by practically half (202 deaths in 2017 to 111 deaths in 2019) after initiating a “complete drug intervention program” following the 2016 wave of overdose deaths. Kanawha County’s deadly overdose numbers remained between 150 and 153 in the identical three years and is now first amongst West Virginia counties.

“In August 2016, 26 folks in Cabell County overdosed from fentanyl-laced heroin in a five-hour interval. Officers now say that whereas this was not the primary time concern concerning the drug epidemic surfaced, it was a defining wake-up name,” the report reads. “Since then, Cabell County has chosen to fulfill its substance use issues by growing a full array of prevention and early intervention, remedy and restoration help packages with collaborations between public officers, regulation enforcement, well being care methods, universities, nonprofits and faith-based organizations starting in 2016.”

In distinction, Kanawha County has fewer medication-assistant remedy packages and packages for neonatal abstinence syndrome. It additionally has only one small syringe service program, together with the grassroots group Options Oriented Dependancy Response (SOAR), which has come beneath hearth by the Metropolis Council this 12 months.

The report examines prices past overdose fatalities, together with the toll of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and ailments like HIV.

In 2017, West Virginia’s fee of NAS was 53.5, a rise of 283% from 2010. The speed in Kanawha County that 12 months was reported at 39.4, with a rise to 54.3 for the primary six months of 2020.

Utilizing estimates on the price of NAS from a 2021 Journal of American Medical Affiliation research, Kriesky estimates at the very least $1.33 million was spent on assembly the wants of opioid-dependent infants at beginning in 2017 in Kanawha County.

Prices of different ailments are arduous to estimate, however the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention estimates the lifetime price of treating HIV at practically $485,000. To deal with Kanawha County’s 35 new circumstances for many of 2020 will price practically $17 million.

The report advocates for higher surveillance of substance abuse-related points and assortment of knowledge, and for strong hurt discount companies, together with syringe exchanges and supervised consumption services.

Whereas syringe exchanges have come under fire in the state Legislature, there aren’t any supervised consumption services within the state. These services, in locations like Philadelphia, forestall overdose deaths by having a medical skilled oversee consumption of issues like opioids. A research estimates the worth of the lives saved in Philadelphia’s facility at between $12,462,213 and $74,773,276.

The report cites a 2019 Hurt Discount Journal research that discovered practically 80% of people that inject medicine in Cabell County can be open to utilizing a secure consumption facility.

Reporter Taylor Caught might be reached at tstuck@hdmediallc.com. Comply with her on Twitter and Fb @TaylorStuckHD.



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