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The Opioid Crisis in American’s Workforce

A report that came out on Wednesday, titled “The Opioid Crisis in American’s Workforce”, claims that the highest rate of opioid abuse in the country can be found in Wilmington.

Publishing by a healthcare information company called Castlight Health (based in San Francisco), the report suggested that nearly 12 percent of those individuals that were receiving prescription painkillers in Wilmington were abusing the drugs.

Proving particular disturbing were findings suggesting that 53.8 percent of all the opioid prescriptions in the Port City were being abused. The report defined an abuser as an individual that not only received opioid prescriptions from more than four providers but who was also receiving more opioids than a cumulative 90-day supply.

According to the report, there is every reason to believe that the true scale of the problem might be even bigger, seeing as the study couldn’t explore information regarding those pills that were consumed outside the insurance pathway.

Christopher Whaley, a data scientist with Castlight, has been fielding a number of questions from concerned parties in the health care arena, not only regarding the study’s rankings but their definition of opioid abuse.

For people like Robert Childs, the findings of this study are not particularly surprising. Childs works with an agency whose purpose it is to prevent overdoses among opioid addicts. The agency depends on Naxolone, which blocks the effects of opioids, to prevent fatalities even while availing victims of opioid abuse the opportunity to seek treatment.

According to Childs, the N.C. Harm Reduction Coalition still has so much work to do, presently registering an estimated one hundred overdose reversals every single month. Childs acknowledges that things are probably even worse in Wilmington and North Carolina than the report says.

To accrue the data they needed, the authors of the study looked at the anonymous insurance expenses of a large number of patients across the country. The study primarily looked at patients with employer coverage who had access to Castlight services during the last five years.

The senior vice-president of plan development and data operations at the firm added that businesses accrued an estimated ten billion dollars in damages every single year as a result of opioid abuse, this manifesting the far-reaching consequences of addiction in the country.

As far as Kristin Torres Mowat is concerned, the cost and impact of opioid abuse are routinely overlooked in discussions about addiction, this despite the drastic manner in which these factors can affect employers and employees across the nation.

From Kristin’s point of view, anyone with an active engagement in the country’s economy cannot escape the impact of opioid abuse, not over the long term.

North Carolina is fast making a name for itself as a center for addiction, with North Caroline cities like Fayetteville, Hickory and Jackson ranking among the top 25 cities in the United States with the highest rates of opioid abuse.

When you consider the fact that a number of the cities struggling with addiction are in the south, clearly there is a problem in this region of the country that should be addressed with immediate effect.


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