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Opioid Epidemic: The U.S. lost over $500 billion in 2015

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The United States of America lost $504 billion to opioid use in 2015, a record which the White House Council of Economic Advisers said is six times higher than the previous years.

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According to a report from The Associated Press, a 2016 study found that prescription opioid overdoes, abuse and dependence in 2013 cost the nation $78.5 billion in areas such as health care, criminal justice and lost productivity.

In an analysis report it released on Monday, the council said, “Previous estimates of the economic cost of the opioid crisis greatly underestimate it by undervaluing the most important component of the loss — fatalities resulting from overdoses.”

More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. And most of those deaths involved a prescription painkiller or an illicit opioid like heroin, the AP reported.

last October, President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

“As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said in a speech from the White House. “It is time to liberate our communities from the scourge. We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”

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Drug abuse, according to health experts, isn’t just about street drugs.

Apart from the famed marijuana, some legal medicines are commonly abused drugs in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Over-the-counter and prescription drugs such as valium, xanas, nembutal, phenobarbital, morphine sulphate, vicodin and more, can help and heal us, but it can also be addictive and dangerous if they’re used the wrong way.

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