>> Opioid drug abuse cost the US economy as much as $504 billion in 2015, according to a White House study. The explosive epidemic, which has ravaged parts of the country in recent years, represented 2.8% of gross domestic product that year, according to a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors made public on Sunday.
The CEA said that the lost economic outputs steaming from 33,000 opioid-related death since 2015 could cost as much as $431 billion. Additionally, the report estimated a lost of $72 billion from 2.4 million addicts, costs which include medical treatment, legal expenses, and decreased economic productivity. President Donald Trump last month declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
While Republican lawmakers said that was an important step in fighting opioid abuse, some critics, including Democrats, said the move was meaningless without additional funding. The report could be used by the Trump White House to urge Republicans in Congress, who historically have opposed increasing government spending to provide more funding for fighting the crisis by arguing that economic losses far outweigh the cost of additional government funding.