State-by-State Impact of Opioid Epidemic on Children - New Report from the United Hospital Fund
NEW YORK, NY—November 13, 2019— The opioid epidemic that is ravaging communities throughout the United States placed an estimated 2.2 million children and adolescents in crisis as of 2017—28 out of every 1,000. These children had a parent with opioid use disorder—which can have a devastating, lifelong impact—or had the disorder themselves, according to an analysis produced by United Hospital Fund (UHF) and Boston Consulting Group and released today.
The analysis, The Ripple Effect: National and State Estimates of the U.S. Opioid Epidemic’s Impact on Children, maps out the impact on children in each state in 2017, revealing a wide variation. West Virginia had the highest rate, with 54 out of every 1,000 children affected. Although California had the lowest rate, it had the highest number of children affected—196,000, or 20 out of every 1,000.
If current trends continue, the number of children affected nationwide by opioid use will rise to an estimated 4.3 million by 2030, and the cumulative lifetime cost will reach $400 billion in additional spending on health care, special education, child welfare, and criminal justice. That figure does not consider productivity losses or missed opportunities.
“This report shines a light on a population affected by opioids that is often hidden from view,” said study co-author Suzanne Brundage, director of UHF’s Children’s Health Initiative. “But these estimates should not cause despair. Instead, they highlight the urgent need to take action now to help these children and their families...