Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation takes on Opioid Abuse and Overdose Epidemic



Explore critical challenges and actions employers can take in the midst of this growing epidemic






Atlanta, GA - - (March 15, 2017) - - The United States is in the midst of an alarming opioid overdose epidemic, and U.S. employers are challenged by the epidemic’s toll on their workers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids were involved in the overdose deaths of more than 33,000 Americans in 2015, nearly quadruple the number from 2000 and more than any year on record. The estimated lost productivity for people in the United States with opioid use disorder totaled $20.4 billion in 2013.

Business Pulse: Opioid Overdose Epidemic, launched today by the CDC Foundation, explores how CDC is working to protect individuals and families—many of whom are in the workplace—from this widespread crisis.









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  • Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (which includes prescription opioids and/or heroin).
  • In 2013, prescription opioid dependence, abuse and overdose cost the United States $78.5 billion.
More than one-third of this amount, $29 billion, was due to increased health care and substance abuse treatment costs.



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"Prescription opioids continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other drug. While they can help with some types of pain, prescription opioids must be prescribed and used carefully," said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. "CDC is committed to helping physicians and patients make informed treatment decisions to protect the public’s health and prevent opioid overdoses."

This issue of Business Pulse highlights the challenges employers face, as well as CDC solutions, and includes a question and answer feature with Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and Mike Menkhaus, R.Ph., EPRN project manager, The Kroger Co. Business Pulse: Opioid Overdose Epidemic also features an interactive infographic with facts and links to CDC programs that help employers address the opioid epidemic, along with online CDC resources.

Business Pulse: Opioid Overdose Epidemic is one in a series of quarterly business features created by the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization. Other Business Pulse topics to date include business continuity, safe healthcare, global health security, travelers’ health, flu prevention, healthy workforce, heart health, food safety, workplace safety, business health, lowering healthcare costs, vehicle safety and tobacco use.


Information source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation
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