A Substance Use Cost Calculator for US Employers With an Emphasis on Prescription Pain Medication Misuse

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Abstract

Objective:

Substance use disorders are among the most common and costly health conditions affecting Americans. Despite estimates of national costs exceeding $400 billion annually, individual companies may not see how substance use impacts their bottom lines through lost productivity and absenteeism, turnover, health care expenses, disability, and workers’ compensation.

Methods:

Data on employed adults (18 years and older) from 3 years (2012 to 2014) of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health Public Use Data Files were analyzed.

Results:

The results offer employers an authoritative, free, epidemiologically grounded, and easy-to-use tool that gives specific information about how alcohol, prescription pain medication misuse, and illicit drug use is likely impacting workplaces like theirs.

Conclusion:

Employers have detailed reports of the cost of substance use that can be used to improve workplace policies and health benefits.

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