Analysis: Substance abuse annually costs Tennessee billions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An analysis has found that substance abuse annually costs Tennessee more than $2 billion, with most of it attributed to lost income from people who’ve fallen out of the labor market.

The Tennessean reports Teresa Waters, chair of preventive medicine at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, dug into costs associated with substance abuse.

At $1.29 billion, the lost income from having an estimated 31,000 people, or 1 percent of the workforce, out of jobs accounts for the biggest component.

Other listed costs include $138 million for hospitalizations with alcohol listed as the first diagnosis and $46 million for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The White House’s Council of Economic Advisers projected, in a November study, that the opioid epidemic cost the U.S. economy over $504 billion in 2015.

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