In a recent article by CNN, a cost of addictive behavior to was revealed. After the economists were done, the true cost to US businesses was evaluated at a staggering $10 Billion.
This actually only covers opioid abuse passed through the medical system – the cost of other addictive behavior (such as alcoholism) is in addition to this. The behavior of abuse was identified from de-identified data provided by health care insurers, the best people to look at prescriptions from multiple doctors. The abusers also incur twice the direct medical payments per person than non-abusers, driving up employee health care costs, such as co-pays. (This is not included in the $10B figure.)
The problem is widespread enough that, as of last month, there are new guidelines issued by federal health officials to try and curb the widespread prescriptions of opioids for chronic pain.
Dealing with chronic pain is a real problem for those with addictive personalities. The issues associated with an actual pain causing abuse are more complicated than those who abuse for escapism, but the solutions are similar. Coping for people with chronic pain involves finding a non-addictive regiment, just like it does for someone who drinks to cure depression. However, with time, support, and a willingness to improve, everyone can live life drug and alcohol free.