New Study Quantifies Opioids Cost to U.S. Economy at $631 Billion

The opioid crisis cost the U.S. economy $631 billion from 2015 through last year, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries. The biggest driver of the cost over the four-year period is unrealized lifetime earnings of those who died from the drugs, followed by healthcare costs. While more than 2,000 state and local governments have sued the drug industry over the crisis, the report finds that governments bear less than one-third of the financial costs. The rest are borne by individuals and the private sector.