Recently, we saw the major effects of the opioid epidemic across the United States: In Florida, Governor Rick Scott issued a nationwide public health emergency last year that is more than a social problem Florida's small businesses are severely affected by this widespread problem for many reasons.
Our entrepreneurs, their employees and families and the very economic structure of our state have been infiltrated by the opioid crisis, for example, work-related injuries sometimes provide painkillers that addiction. This is a direct problem affecting the finances of business owners and Ver consumers – not to mention all families affected by addiction and overdoses.
During a trip to Washington DC last month, I learned that two-thirds of Americans have reported abuse prescription drugs were at the time on their company's payroll. American employers are losing $ 80 billion a year in drug productivity, absenteeism, accidents and health costs through drug dependence and abuse.
As Congress applies means to solve this very important problem, we call for public support from helpful treatment programs and life-saving products to address the opioid crisis directly. These include the administration of naloxone, the drug for overdose, to law enforcement officers and as co-prescriptions for Medicaid and Medicare patients.
Extending access to Naloxone for law enforcement will save lives and protect those in the front line who respond to emergency calls. The federal budget should include specific resources for equipping and training all law enforcement officials with FDA-approved overdose reversals. Since 2010, the National Drug Control Strategy has called for the arming of first responders to detect and manage overdoses.
In addition, most opioid overdoses are unintentional. Medicaid beneficiaries are prescribed analgesics at twice the rate of non-Medicaid patients and are three to six times more likely to overdose. These patients should be protected against accidental overdose. This would be cost-effective for government payers. The average cost of ICU is more than $ 92,000 per opioid overdose in the United States, and 50 percent of opioid-related emergencies were paid by Medicaid or Medicare in 2014. Studies show that patients who receive naloxone co-regulation have 47 percent less opioid emergency room visits per month in the six months following receipt and 63 percent fewer visits at one year compared with patients who did not receive naloxone. The joint prescription of naloxone would bring enormous cost savings to the state.
The Florida SBDC Network encourages Congress to fund these proposals, and we look forward to Florida shining under the dark cloud of addiction and overdose. Our small businesses and their families depend on it.
Michael Myhre is the CEO of Florida SBDC Network, the country's largest business services provider.
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