Opioid Epidemic Costs Tennesseans

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The opioid epidemic is costing the economy in Tennessee hundreds of millions of dollars every year in lost personal income.

A new report from the University of Tennessee Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research details the impact drug addiction is having on the labor market in our state.

The report from UT economists' estimates that if just 10% of people addicted to opioids got clean, it would increase the labor force in the state by about one percentage point. That would lead to an additional $825 million in personal income in Tennessee.

The study has already been used by former Governor Bill Haslam to help determine where to allocate money to fight the epidemic. Haslam used the report to unveil his $30 million plan to address the opioid epidemic. That was released earlier this month and focuses on prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.