It’s no secret that an opioid crisis has hit the country.
And a nonprofit known as FAIR Health has used insurance claims to figure out which populations have been hit the hardest by opioid dependence and abuse.
According to the report, opioid dependence is considered a more severe diagnosis than opioid abuse.
“Dependence is characterized by such symptoms as tolerance (needing larger amounts to produce the same effect), withdrawal and repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit, whereas abuse is identified by such symptoms as continued use despite recurrent social problems caused or exacerbated by the substance,” the report reads.
Based on a study conducted by the nonprofit that looked at insurance claims filed diagnoses of opioid dependence and abuse, men are more commonly dependent opioids than women across all age groups. The age group with the highest number of people diagnosed with an opioid dependence is between 19 and 35 years, according to the report.
As law enforcement officials have emphasized over and over again, an increasing number of those who are diagnosed with an opioid addiction have previously been prescribed and developed a dependence on prescription painkillers.
FAIR Health used insurance claim information to gather data for the report. Unlike other epidemics, the report notes, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of claims filed by those with private insurance. As compared to between 2002 and 2004, there was a 63 percent increase in the number of claims filed through private insurance between 2011 and 2013, the report states.
-Anna Bisaro, New Haven Register