WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, or slightly over half a trillion dollars.
The Council of Economic Advisers says in an analysis being released Monday that the cost is more than six times larger than the most recent estimates. The council says previous estimates didn’t properly reflect the number of fatalities blamed on opioids, a powerful yet addictive category of painkillers. It says opioid deaths are often underreported.
Last month, President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a national public health emergency.
Trump announced an advertising campaign to combat what he says is the worst drug crisis in U.S. history, but no new federal funding.
The government says nearly 100 people a day die from opioid abuse.
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