The Extraordinary Impact of Pain

What It Costs Patients, Health Insurers, and Society


Patient & Clinical Impact

Prescriber screenings and assessments uncover patient risks

Careful screening of patients prior to initiation of opioid therapy combined with continuous assessment of patient for risk is crucial to preventing opioid use disorder or overdose.

Opioid dose as low as 50mg predicts addiction

Opioid dose as low as 50mg predicts addiction to prescription opioids. Screenings for opioid use disorder are recommended once dose of 50mg is met.

Opioids may induce hyperalgesia

Opioid-induced hyperalgesia should be assessed and addressed in all patients taking longterm opioids.

30 day dose alters brain

Opioids change the structure of the human brain in as few as 30 days.

Detox lowers pain and risk

Patients report reduction in pain scores following opioid detoxification.

Opioid risks outweigh clinical benefits

The risks for chronic opioid therapy for some chronic conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia, and chronic low back pain likely outweigh the benefits.

Opioids predict poor surgical outcomes

Preoperative opioid use predicts poor patient reported surgical outcomes.

Health Insurer Economic Impact

Chronic pain = $300B in annual spending

Studies show $261-300B in direct healthcare spending is attributable to chronic pain, approximately 10% of annual healthcare expenditures.

Prevention saves $

Implementing measures that prevent patients from developing opioid use disorder saves money in the long run.

Patients misusing opioids spend 8x more on healthcare

Patients who misuse opioids have direct healthcare costs that are more than 8 times higher than other patients.

58% of patients on opioids have behavioral health conditions

Those with chronic pain are five times as likely to utilize healthcare services, and 58% of them experience symptoms of depression or anxiety, comorbidities that further increase the utilization of healthcare resources.

Greater Societal Impact

42K opioid deaths in 2016.

Opioids were involved in 42,249 deaths in 2016, and the rate of opioid overdoses has doubled since 2010.

$336B in lost worker productivity

Chronic pain is responsible for $297-336B in lost productivity and absenteeism in the workplace.

Opioid dependence increases rates of HIV and hepatitis

Increases in prescription pain pill dependence has led to the spread of hepatitis and HIV in regions across the US.

Opioid use disorder destroys families

The opioid epidemic is driving more children into the foster care system.

Misuse of prescription pain medication is a gateway to heroin use

People misusing prescription medications are 40 times more likely to move on to heroin.

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