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Hospital costs for substance use patients exceed $13B annually, study finds

Hospital costs for substance use patients exceed $13B annually, study finds

Health
March 5 (UPI) -- The diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorder, as well as the management of related health complications, including overdoses, results in more than $ 13 billion in medical costs annually, an analysis published Friday by JAMA Network Open found. More than half of these costs -- $ 7.6 billion -- were tied to caring for patients with alcohol-related disorders, the data showed. Advertisement Just over $ 2.2 billion was spent on treating patients with health issues related to opioid use, the researchers said. Examples of opioids include "street" drugs such as heroin, as well as prescription pain medications used illegally or inappropriately, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "U.S. hospitals are seeing a big increase in patients seeking acute treatment...