U.S. opioid use disorder cases could hit 1.9 million in 2021

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Opioid use has climbed significantly over the past two decades, but made an especially large jump in 2020, increasing 13%, according to analyst firm GlobalData.

Cases of opioid use disorder (OUD) could reach 1.9 million by the end of this year while 21 million Americans suffer from alcoholism, according to GlobalData projections. Both conditions require billions of dollars in treatment costs and could have a negative impact on U.S. life expectancy.

Because substance abuse tends to affect young and middle-aged adults disproportionately, it “could lead to stagnation or even a decrease in the U.S. life expectancy as more younger adults die prematurely,” said Walter Gabriel, an epidemiologist at GlobalData.

OUD is also fueling demand for FDA-approved medications intended to treat OUD including buprenorphine and methadone.

The opioid crisis could …

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