White House report: Opioid crisis cost taxpayers $504 billion

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

A new White House report says the true cost of the opioid drug crisis in 2015 for U.S. taxpayers was a staggering $504 billion.

In the report released today, the Council of Economic Advisors said the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate in 2013. It adds that the opioid epidemic has also led to an increase in criminal justice spending and a decrease in worker productivity.

Drug treatment expert Steven Chassman says it's not surprising that a big part of the multibillion-dollar cost is attributed to health care. He says inadequate in-patient stays for those battling opioid abuse are contributing to the costs.

"Over the last 10 years, we've seen insurance companies who have a fiduciary interest limiting the amount of treatment stay," he says.

In a statement, the CEO of the Long Island Association said, "The opioid crisis is harming our families as well as our economy, and the White House's report is further evidence that we need a stronger and more collaborative effort to address this issue."

Last month, President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a national public health emergency. He announced an advertising campaign to fight what he says is the worst drug crisis in the nation's history, but he stopped short of directing new federal funding toward the problem.

Drug treatment experts are hoping the new White House report will change that.

"We're hoping that with the economic impact, with the human toll, that this will truly foster a national response that is adequate in measure to the crisis," Chassman says.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Your February Snow Photos

    Your February Snow Photos

    Sunday, February 18 2018 10:54 AM EST2018-02-18 15:54:26 GMT
    Your February Snow PhotosYour February Snow Photos

    Did you snap a great pic of the snow from the overnight storm? Share with us here, or use the hashtag #LIWeather on Twitter and Instagram.

    Did you snap a great pic of the snow from the overnight storm? Share with us here, or use the hashtag #LIWeather on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Your Long Island Weather Photos

    Your Long Island Weather Photos

    Meiko at the fire island lighthouseMeiko at the fire island lighthouse

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LIWeather.

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LIWeather.

  • 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

    2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

    2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

    Photos from the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Images via Getty.

    Photos from the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Images via Getty.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."