New research from benefits firm Castlight found that one third of opioid prescriptions paid for by U.S. employers are abused. Nearly one in 20 workers who have received an opioid prescription, on average 4.5 percent, have demonstrated a pattern of drug abuse, according to the firm’s research. Among baby boomers, the prevalence of abuse is even higher at nearly 7.5 percent. The findings in the new report titled “The Opioid Crisis in America’s Workforce” were based on de-identified data covering nearly one million workers who used Castlight’s benefit platform between 2011 and 2015. Workers who abuse painkillers account for nearly half of all spending by employers on painkillers, and incur nearly twice as much in medical costs – on average $19,450 – as non-abusers
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