Opioid crisis has cost the U.S. $1 trillion

Police and medical workers treat a woman who overdosed on heroin. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The opioid crisis has cost the U.S. $1 trillion since 2001, according to Altarum, a nonprofit health research firm. Those costs have been increasing more rapidly over the past few years, and Altarum projects they’ll grow by another $500 billion just by 2020.

By the numbers:

  • Most of that $1 trillion comes from lost wages, productivity and tax revenue, Altarum said.
  • The health care system directly bore about a quarter of the total financial burden — $215 billion — largely from emergency treatment of overdoses.