Estimated cost of opioid abuse in the U.S. exceeds half a trillion dollars, says White House

The Council of Economic Advisers is expected to publish a document on Monday that shows the real cost of opioid abuse in the United States having already crossed the half-trillion-dollar mark as of 2015. The real figure is $504 million.

Earlier private estimates were one-sixth of that, at about $80 billion for 2013, but the private study and other estimates did not include several other parameters that the council’s research shows.

In particular, the new report includes data for opioid-related deaths from overdose, illicit channels of procurement and other factors.

In October 2017, President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a national public health emergency, but stopped short of actually authorizing additional federal funding towards the campaign, something that has been sought by the very federal commission that Trump set up to study the problem.

However, while the commission’s interim report did call for additional monies and resources to be freed for the campaign against opioid abuse, the final report that came earlier this month did not ask for any additional funding, only addressing the need for more training for doctors, more drug courts and penalties for insurers who evade addiction treatment coverage.

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