Large Employers Spent $2.6 Billion to Treat Opioid Addiction in 2016

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Large employers spent $2.6 billion to treat opioid addiction in 2016, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than half of that amount was spent on treating employees’ children, USA Today reports.

Spending by large employers to treat opioid addiction has risen eightfold since 2004, the report found. Use of prescription opioids among people with employer-based health coverage has declined to its lowest levels in more than a decade. Opioid use peaked in 2009, when 17.3 percent of large employer plan enrollees had at least one opioid prescription during the year. By 2016, that number dropped to 13.6 percent.

Among people receiving inpatient treatment for addiction, the average expenses totaled $16,104 annually in 2016, up from $5,809 in 2004.

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