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Cost of the opioid epidemic in 2015 raised to $504 billion, 6x original estimate

Discarded hypodermic needles at an encampment where opioid addicts shoot up along the Merrimack River in Lowell, Mass. Photo: Charles Krupa / AP

"The White House says the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, or roughly half a trillion dollars," per AP's Darlene Superville:

"[T]he Council of Economic Advisers says the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate. The council said a 2016 private study estimated that prescription opioid overdoes, abuse and dependence in the U.S. in 2013 cost $78.5 billion."