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Opioid Epidemic is a $500 Billion Problem

As operators of an opioid addiction recovery center and merely as citizens of New England, we at BornFree Wellness Center are fully aware of the scope of the opioid epidemic gripping our nation.

Illustration depicting the cost of opiate addiction

A recent statement from the White House pins the true cost of the opioid crisis at $500 Billion (CNBC). That’s a massive number sure to get anyone’s attention.

The White House explained that its orders-of-magnitude larger estimate factors in the true cost of opiate deaths, calling them the “most important component of the loss.” We assume this factor includes lost wages and productivity, funeral costs, and other related expenses.

The white house also asserted that its estimate included the realm of illicit opiates like heroin while conventional estimates do not.

Is this an accurate estimate? A better question might be whether it makes sense to waste time nickel and diming. Anyone with a family member struggling with or killed by addiction would tell you that there’s no time to lose.

In reality, getting a bead on the true cost of the epidemic is the first step toward crafting meaningful policy and budgets aimed at fighting it, so this is a worthwhile exercise. Look for details about what steps are being taken at the federal, state, and municipal levels to combat the problem in our next blog post.

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