Cost of Heroin Use in the U.S. Tops $51 Billion

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The total cost of heroin use in the United States reached more than $51 billion in 2015, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The cost estimate includes heroin-related crime and imprisonment, as well as addiction treatment and chronic infectious diseases contracted through heroin use, such as HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C, HealthDay reports. Other costs include treating newborns with heroin-related medical conditions, overdose deaths and lost productivity on the job.

An estimated 1 million people in the United States use heroin, the article notes. On average, the societal cost per person who uses heroin is $50,799, according to a university news release.

The findings are published in the journal PLOS One.

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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