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The Opioid Crisis is spawning an “epidemic of epidemics” in new HCV infections and other bacterial infections.

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The opioid crisis has claimed 64,000 lives in 2016 which is more than the entire death toll of the Vietnam War. Following current trends, there appears to be no end in sight for this emergency. A related offshoot of the opioid epidemic is a largely overlooked and gravely underfunded public health crisis of increasing Hepatitis C infections and bacterial endocarditis.

Lawmakers and federal officials often cite $45 billion as the amount of money needed to treat the drug crisis but experts that it is likely four times that. It should account for the costs of treating hepatitis c which is priced at $20,000 to 90,000 per patient and open-heart surgery for bacterial endocarditis which is estimated to costs $100,000 to $ 200,000 per person. The recently passed bipartisan spending bill contains only $ 6 billion in funding for opioid and mental health treatment which is a far cry from what is actually needed.

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