The Financial Impact of the Opioid “Epidemic” on Autism

My grandson is a statistic of this fake/false opioid epidemic/crisis due to prescription medications. It is an illicit fentanyl and heroin epidemic /crisis the collateral damage aspect that no one touches on!

My grandson will not have an advocate, meaning myself, that he truly needs. Thus, he most likely will end up in an institution which will be paid for by the state.

One of the most devastating aspects for me has been the fact that I cannot advocate for my autistic grandchild who is my heart, my world he is 8 years old right now, time is of the essence because early intervention is the key. If he does not receive the services that are instrumental for him to thrive, grow and develop skills.

He is 100% nonverbal, on the very severe end of the spectrum. Prior to my medications being cut off, I was very involved in every aspect of his education and individualized education programs (IEPs).

I advocated for my youngest, now 22. He was on the very severe end of the spectrum; however, with the constant engagement and IEPs, battling for services he not only graduated from high school but works now and is a functioning member of society. Everything that they told me he would never be!

My baby has autism and because I do not have access to the essential tools, medications that I need for functionality and quality to my life I am not able to advocate for him to receive the essential services he needs to become the boy, man that God truly intended him to be! The cost Factor is substantial Autism cost-related…

A report released in April by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 1 in 59 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, an increase of 15 percent from the study published two years earlier.

Findings published in Jama Pediatrics report that the lifetime cost for an individual on the autism spectrum is $2.4 million on average when an intellectual disability is involved, and $1.4 million when it is not. It is estimated that 40 percent of people on the autism spectrum also have an intellectual disability.

The organization Autism Speaks estimates that it costs $60,000 on average each year to adequately support someone with an ASD living in the U.S.

Cost obstacles often start before diagnosis.

“Many insurance plans do not cover evaluations. We are talking a cost of $700 to $2,000, just for the initial evaluation,” said Silvia Hierro, who has a son on the autism spectrum and is the founder of SOAK, a Florida nonprofit that focuses on raising awareness about autism and providing informational resources for families.

These costs are factored when the child is in the home and are being taken care of by parents and or Guardians! Because many individuals who have special needs children are losing access to their medications many will not be able to take care of these children that need specialized and intensive care!

The cost will be astronomical!

1 in 59 United States children are affected by autism times the lifetime cost for an individual on the autism spectrum of $2.4 million on average when an intellectual disability is involved, and $1.4 million when it is not…… these are just some costs, of course with the cost of living this will surely go up!

How I came up with dollar amount:

100,000,000 CPP (lower end) of #IPPS #CPPS have special needs or elderly parents they are responsible for taking care of!

1 in 59 children have autism in USA (last study was 1 in 40), but we will use the 1 in 59.

So 100,000,000 divided by 59 = 1,694,915

Lifetime cost for an individual on the autism spectrum = $2,400,000

$2,400,000 x 1,694,915 = $4,067,796,000,000**

-Only one aspect of the collateral damage and costs that can and will occur because our essential tools have been taken from us!

Could you imagine how many children, teenagers with disabilities that will have to be institutionalized because their caregivers/parents are not able to take care of the 1 in 59 United States children???

Cathy Kean

Had I had my medicine, I could have got him the services that he truly deserves as being not only a United States citizen but a human being! He did not ask to have autism he deserves a shot at life!

These staggering costs will be left to the American taxpayer and the economy will feel its DEVASTATING results….

More than cost is in play here because early intervention is the key! Because these individuals will not have the interaction, care, and resources due to the environmental challenges, parent and or guardian unable or being deficient and incapable of taking care of the said child or in compromised fashion due to inability to manage pain the child will suffer numerous consequences physically, emotionally, and intellectually!

Is this humane, is this fair?

They did not ask for these challenges!

Aren’t we supposed to provide them with the best environment and tools to so they can excel and be self-sufficient adults?

How is this being accomplished?

It is not! Quite the opposite…

It’s very detrimental to special needs children! They will suffer tremendously!!!

The collateral damage, which is going to be exponentially worse than anything that has occurred in recent history, will be irreversible and this country will never be the same! Broken families! Destroyed lives! Loss of life! Of livelihood, substandard living will result due to not being able to work any longer!

Social Services will be overwhelmed with children whose parents can no longer take care of them. The family unit will be destroyed as we know it!

Latchkey kids, prisons, Brokenness will be the way the norm!

The American dream, “The white picket fence” will be all but abolished!

And that is just the tip of the iceberg!

All because intractable pain patients do not have the medication that once allowed them to work, to raise a family, to engage and interact in society is now gone!

I should rephrase that!

It is readily available, just not accessible, and not prescribed to us!

How can the governing agencies ignore the suicides due to pain and to all the suffering and not pay attention?

More consequences of these changes will be; physicians will leave pain management practice, throwing thousands of patients into the street without medical referral or support when they go into opioid withdrawal. Many areas of the US States are already no longer served by any pain management center. Potentially millions more patients will be forcibly tapered down or cut off cold-turkey, plunging them into agony and disability when they can no longer work or maintain family relationships due to under-treatment of their pain. More patients will be turned away by emergency rooms and family doctors. Suicides, already on the increase, will soar. Those abandoned will turn to the black market street drugs! What about this is humane?

The cost will be astronomical!

This can, and will, all play out because these medications that were not only a lifeline but our tools so we could be functional and have a sense of quality to our lives! Do we not have the right to have a quality of life?

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