True cost of opioid epidemic tops $500 billion

President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.

Lee Jin-man | Pool | Getty Images

President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.

The White House says the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, or roughly half a trillion dollars.

In an analysis to be released Monday, the Council of Economic Advisers says the figure is actually more than six times larger than the most recent estimate. The council said a 2016 private study estimated which prescription opioid overdoes, abuse along with dependence inside the U.S. in 2013 cost $78.5 billion. Most of which was attributed to health care along with criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity.

The council said its estimate is actually significantly larger because the epidemic has worsened, with overdose deaths doubling inside the past decade, along with which some previous studies didn’t reflect the number of fatalities blamed on opioids, a powerful although addictive category of painkillers.

The council also said previous studies focused exclusively on prescription opioids, while its study also factors in illicit opioids, including heroin.

“Previous estimates of the economic cost of the opioid crisis greatly underestimate the idea by undervaluing the most important component of the loss — fatalities resulting by overdoses,” said the report, which the White House released Sunday night.

Last month at the White House, President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a national public health emergency. Trump announced an advertising campaign to combat what he said is actually the worst drug crisis inside the nation’s history, although he did not direct any completely new federal funding toward the effort.

Trump’s declaration stopped short of the emergency declaration which had been sought by a federal commission the president created to study the problem. An interim report by the commission argued for an emergency declaration, saying the idea might free additional money along with resources.

although in its final report earlier This kind of month, the panel called only for more drug courts, more training for doctors along with penalties for insurers which dodge covering addiction treatment. the idea did not call for completely new money to address the epidemic.

More than 64,000 Americans died by drug overdoses last year, most involving a prescription painkiller or an illicit opioid like heroin.

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