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Government Faces Opioid, Burial Crisis

| Mar 28, 2018 | Elder Issues, Funeral |

It is a sad ending when a body is not claimed. However, the problem also spills over to public expenditures.

If someone dies and there are no assets or relatives, the government is responsible for disposing of the remains. The opioid crisis in the U.S. is now creating a burial crisis because of unclaimed bodies, according to the Daily Mail in “Unclaimed bodies pile up as opioid overdose death rates soar and burial costs overwhelm the government.”

A minority of state governments have funds set aside for the burial of unclaimed human remains. However, most states leave it up to local governments to handle the costs. Funeral directors say that even when state governments do pay, it usually is not enough to cover all the costs. It is much worse in states that leave payment up to the local governments. With deaths rising because of the opioid crisis, the problem is getting worse in areas hard hit by overdoses.

This shows in part why it is a good idea to leave some money aside for your own burial. If something happens to you, then you can always be sure of receiving a proper funeral. No one else will need to claim your remains and pay for it.