The opioid crisis has become an epidemic that is having significant negative impacts on Massachusetts businesses and the state’s economy, and will continue to do so unless decisive action is taken to reverse current ominous trends, according to a report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent, non-partisan public policy research organization.
The study is the first statewide analysis to quantify the strain of the opioid crisis on the Massachusetts economy and its cost to employers, health care providers, and state and municipal budgets.
Among other alarming findings, the report reveals that the opioid epidemic is having an enormous impact on Massachusetts businesses by making an already tight labor market even more challenging, and calls upon business leaders to engage more directly and actively to seek solutions to this growing crisis.
The key findings of the report are:
· The opioid epidemic is far from over and will probably get worse
· Massachusetts is at the forefront of the epidemic
· The impact of opioids on businesses is significant
· The fiscal costs of the epidemic are enormous – and the trends are alarming
MTF hopes this report catalyzes greater urgency and engagement from all segments of our society in the battle against the scourge of this epidemic – particularly among Massachusetts employers – by exploring and explaining the economic and fiscal impacts of the opioid epidemic on the state. We have no illusions that this crisis is fundamentally about economics. While the opioid epidemic is causing considerable costs across all major systems in our state, the primary costs of this crisis are its impact on human lives – and these are incalculable. In this context especially, it is daunting to see the explosive growth of opioid addiction and misuse in Massachusetts since 2013.