The Economic Cost of the Opioid Epidemic in Missouri
- The total economic cost of the opioid epidemic in Missouri was $12.6 billion in 2016. This was 4.2% of the state’s total GDP of nearly $300 billion in 2016, ranking 15th highest among 50 states and the District of Columbia. This was 1.3 times the state’s total economic activity generated by the agriculture, mining and utilities sectors combined.
- These estimates suggest opioid use disorder and overdose deaths cost the state $34.5 million every day. This equates to $1.4 million per hour, $24 thousand per minute or $399 every second of every day during 2016.
- Costs associated with overdose deaths accounted for 96% of the total economic burden of opioid use disorder. Nearly three Missourians died each day from an opioid overdose during 2016. With 921 total deaths, the one-year increase over 2015 was 35% in Missouri — six percentage points higher than the national increase of 29%.
- In 2016, the economic cost of the 921 opioid overdose deaths in Missouri were estimated at $12.1 billion, while costs associated with nonfatal opioid use disorder totaled $519 million.
- The opioid overdose mortality rate in Missouri has nearly doubled throughout the last five years. In 2012, the state experienced 8.5 opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 residents. By 2016 the rate had grown to 15.1, a five-year, 78% increase.
- The increase in opioid overdose deaths in Missouri during 2016 was driven primarily by the introduction of inexpensive, yet highly potent synthetic opiates such as fentanyl. The number of deaths involving synthetic opiates grew from 192 in 2015 to 448 in 2016, a one-year, 133% increase.
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