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The cost of the opioid crisis


Communities are being devastated by the opioid crisis. The heartbreak can’t easily be quantified, but other costs can be. Opioid-related healthcare costs, lost wages and burdens on our judicial system cost more than $72 billion annually. Worse, the estimated value of life lost is nearly six times that.

Where do these burdens fall? On a per-capita basis, the nonfatal burden is highest in DC ($352) and Washington State ($312). When considering both fatal and nonfatal costs, no state comes close to West Virginia at $4,793 per person.

Measuring the problem is easy. Solving it is the challenge.

Alex Brill, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

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The Washington DC 100