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US 2020 Opioid Epidemic Cost Hits a Record $1.5 Trillion: Chart

Sept. 28, 2022, 8:00 PM

The ongoing US opioid crisis cost nearly $1.5 trillion in 2020, according to an estimate by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. The figure reflects estimated expenses for health care, criminal justice, lost productivity, reduced quality of life from opioid use disorder and the projected value of a life lost due to an overdose. The financial toll was up almost 50% from 2019 as the pandemic disrupted the US health care system, reducing access to substance abuse treatment centers and exacerbating social and economic stress that can worsen addiction. The number of 2021 fatal opioid overdoses increased to 80,926, ...