STAGGERING

White House: True Cost of Opioid Epidemic Tops $500 Billion

The true cost of the opioid epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, according to a report released by the White House on Sunday night. That figure is more than six times bigger than the most recent estimate determined by a private study, the Council of Economic Advisers will say in an analysis to be released Monday. “Previous estimates of the economic cost of the opioid crisis greatly underestimate it by undervaluing the most important component of the loss—fatalities resulting from overdoses,” said the report. President Trump declared opioid abuse a national public-health emergency last month.