London, Oct 2 (IANS): The economic toll of the opioid addiction and overdose crisis in the US reached nearly $1.5 trillion in 2020 alone and is likely to grow, a latest US Congressional report said.
Opioid-related deaths soared during the Covid-19 pandemic, including from the powerful synthetic painkiller fentanyl, exacerbating an already tragic and costly nationwide crisis that accounted for 75 per cent of the 107,000 drug overdose fatalities in 2021, Reuters reported, citing data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.
"It's equivalent to one 737 (jet) every day going down, no survivors. It's a mind boggling number of deaths," the report seen by Reuters, cited Representative David Trone, who sits on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee that issued the report, as saying.
The committee said in the report that after adapting a method used by CDC scientists and adjusting for inflation, it found that the crisis cost the US economy $1.47 trillion in 2020, an increase of $487 billion from 2019.