Opioids cost Washington 9 billion in 2016

first_imgThe opioid epidemic cost the state of Washington more than $9 billion in 2016, according to an analysis by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.Of that total economic cost, more than $7 billion comes from opioid-related deaths. The remaining $2 billion is attributed to health care costs, addiction treatment, criminal justice and lost productivity.“This new analysis shows just how much our communities are losing economically as they work to face the many challenges of the opioid epidemic,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in a press release. “And while we can show that opioid-related deaths cost billions to Washington state, we also know that no calculation can show the loss each one of those tragedies meant to families and loved ones across our state.”The analysis was released Monday in advance of a committee hearing Tuesday to push forward a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Murray and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. The bill, known as the Opioids Crisis Response Act of 2018, was unanimously advanced out of committee after more than seven months of work on the bill. The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.If the bill passes, the House will then vote on it and President Donald Trump will also need to sign off. In March, Trump unveiled proposals aimed at combating the opioid epidemic with a greater focus on increasing criminal justice measures and utilizing the death penalty as a maximum penalty for dealers.last_img read more