In November 2017, the White House said the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, or roughly half a trillion dollars.
In an analysis released by the Council of Economic Advisers, it says the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate. A private study estimated that prescription opioid overdoes, abuse and dependence in the U.S. in 2013 cost $78.5 billion. Most of that was attributed to health care and criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity. The Council said its estimate is significantly larger because the epidemic has worsened, with overdose deaths doubling in the past decade, and that some previous studies did not reflect the number of fatalities blamed on opioids, a powerful and 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 it by undervaluing the most important component of the loss — fatalities resulting from overdoses," said the Council’s report released by the White House on November 19, 2017.
Thanks to our friend, Mary Wilson, the Abilities Educator for AbleWell.org, for her help in compiling this very helpful information concerning a very serious subject – Substance Abuse Amongst the Physically Disabled, a population hit particularly hard by the over-prescription of opiates:
Mary’s an educator and her passion is helping. Please feel free to contact her organization if you believe she can further help you.