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Opioids cost economy $504 bln

11:53am EST - 01:06

The explosive epidemic represented 2.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 2015, according to a White House report. Jonah Green reports.

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According to a White House study opioid drug abuse cost the US economy as much as $504 billion in 2015. The explosive epidemic, which has ravaged parts of the country in recent years, represented 2.8 percent of gross domestic product that year, according to a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers made public on Sunday The CEA said that lost economic output stemming from 33,000 opioid-related deaths in 2015 could cost as much as as $431 billion. Additionally, the report estimated a loss of $72 billion from 2.4 million addicts, costs which include medical treatment, legal expenses and the decreased economic productivity. 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 opioid crisis by arguing that the economic losses far outweigh the cost of additional government funding.

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Opioids cost economy $504 bln

11:53am EST - 01:06