The Opioid Epidemic

Updated: Sep 27, 2018

FACT: Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement .

Employers have several tools in their insurance and employee benefits arsenal to prevent and treat opioid abuse in the workplace. Watch the video on the left from

The New York Times and view the resources below for more information.



  • The Opioid Epidemic E-Book: Read how employers can utilize employee benefits and workers’ compensation to fight back.

  • Managing Opioid Rx in Benefit Plans Webinar: With a majority of Americans getting their medical and pharmacy insurance through their employer or via a multi-employer program, plan sponsors can play a huge role in helping to combat this extraordinary crisis.  Watch this webinar recording and learn specific tactics around how to manage opioid Rx in benefit plans.

  • Opioid Multi-District Litigation Article: A massive multi-district litigation filed against pharmaceutical companies engaged in the production, marketing and distribution of prescription painkillers is raising questions about insurance liability and who will ultimately be held responsible for the nationwide opioid epidemic. 

  • 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation Report: According to this recent report, employers spent $1.4 Billion on opioids and 4 in 10 individuals addicted get medication from their employer benefit plan.  Read more about how the opioid crisis has affected people with employer coverage. 

  • U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Opioids Website: Help, resources and information on the prevention, treatment and recovery.

  • PA’s Opioid Guidelines: PA’s Governor, Tom Wolf, introduced opioid guidelines to “help health care providers determine when opioids are appropriate for treatment of someone injured on the job.” Click here to read more about the guidelines and their purpose.

  • Opioid Toolkit: Comprehensive guide to addressing opioids in the workplace.

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