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Gunshot Survivors' Medical Costs Rise 400 Percent In a Year

Medical researchers compared health care data of a control group and more than 6,000 gunshot injury survivors and their family members. They found that the survivors had significantly higher rates of pain diagnoses and psychiatric disorders, and an 85 percent increase in substance use disorders a year after injury, The Trace reports. Mental health worsened among family members as well.

Researchers said medical spending costs for survivors increased by 400 percent in the first year after injury, nearly $2,500 per month. “Nonfatal firearm injuries are more than twice as frequent [as gun deaths] and have economic and clinical implications for survivors and their family members,” the authors wrote, “with direct costs largely borne by society through commercial insurers, self-insured employers, and public programs like Medicare.” Findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.