Societal Impact of Diversion

"The societal impact of CPD [controlled prescription drugs] diversion and abuse is considerable. Violent and property crime associated with CPD diversion and abuse has increased in all regions of the United States over the past 5 years, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) National Drug Threat Survey (NDTS). However, the association between crime and CPD diversion is reported much less frequently than the association between crime and illicit drugs. Increases in crime rates often result in higher budgetary expenditures for additional law enforcement resources. Moreover, the estimated cost of CPD diversion and abuse to public and private medical insurers is $72.5 billion a year,3 much of which is passed to consumers through higher health insurance premiums. Additionally, the abuse of prescription opioids is burdening the budgets of substance abuse treatment providers, particularly as prescription opioid abuse might be fueling heroin abuse rates in some areas of the United States."

Source: 

National Drug Intelligence Center, Drug Enforcement Administration, "National Prescription Drug Threat Assessment," (Washington DC, April 2009), p. IV.
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