Hooked: The Financial Hit To Nation Of Opioid Crisis Estimated At $2.5 Trillio1

‘No amount of money can ever compensate for the pain’

(Editor’s Note: Those of us who have worked with addicts and alcoholics know: Drug use is A problem, but it is not THE problem. THE problem is a society and economy in distress and collapse. Build a more humane, functional society and most of the drug use will disappear. — Mark L. Taylor)

By Alexis Keenan & Adriana Belmonte
Yahoo News (8/22/20)

U.S. states are claiming that opioid manufacturers, distributors, and others who fueled the country’s decades-long opioid crisis will cost the economy at least $2.15 trillion by the year 2040.

The figure was reported in a filing made public Monday in the Southern District of New York in the bankruptcy case for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharmaceutical.

“The opioid epidemic has ravaged this country as a single family has made billions profiting from the destruction it caused,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement emailed to Yahoo Finance. “The millions of families that have suffered as the result of addiction, ailments, and death can never be repaid for their losses, and no amount of money can ever compensate for the pain that so many now know.”

Between 2007 and 2019, the states estimated that their systems took a $630 billion hit. Anticipated costs of $1.53 trillion from 2020 to 2040 are estimated to run up the rest of the tab.

“As expected,” a Purdue spokesperson stated, “claims have been filed by a variety of private and public entities, including the states and territories, and it is typical for claims to be filed in amounts substantially larger than what is ultimately allowed by the court.”

The company, which filed for bankruptcy in September amid mounting lawsuits against opioid supply chain participants, proposed delivering more than $10 billion in value — including 100% of Purdue’s assets — toward claimants, communities, opioid addiction treatment, and overdose reversal medicines.

‘An extraordinary number of people are taking opioids’

In December 1995, the FDA approved a new opioid known as Oxycodone. Subsequently, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and health care providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.”

The cost of millions of Americans becoming addicted to prescription opioids on the country’s economy has not gone unnoticed. Last year, while testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spoke of its effects on the workforce.

“An extraordinary number of people are taking opioids in one form or another and it weighs on labor force participation,” Powell said. “It’s a national crisis, really. The humanitarian crisis of it is completely compelling but the economic impact is also quite substantial.”

The crisis has also cost a fortune in lost tax revenue …

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