Cost Of U.S. Opioid Epidemic Since 2001 Is $1 Trillion And Climbing



A young man uses heroin under a bridge in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, a neighborhood that has become a hub for heroin use. The economic costs of the epidemic are mounting, researchers say, as the U.S. loses more and more workers in their prime.


The opioid epidemic has cost the U.S. more than a trillion dollars since 2001, according to a new study, and may exceed another $500 billion over the next three years.

The report by Altarum, a nonprofit group that studies the health economy, examined CDC mortality data through June of last year. The greatest financial cost of the opioid epidemic, according to the report, is in lost earnings and productivity losses to employers. Early deaths and substance abuse disorders also take a toll on local, state and federal government through lost tax revenue.

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