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Nearly 1 million people out of workforce due to opioid addiction: study

Nearly 1 million people out of workforce due to opioid addiction: study
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Almost 1 million people were out of the workforce due to opioid addiction in 2015, according to a new study.

The study from the American Action Forum, a right-leaning think tank, highlights the economic costs of the opioid epidemic, in addition to the direct toll of deaths and addiction.

The report found that 919,400 people of prime working age were not in the labor force in 2015 because of opioid addiction.

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Furthermore, that decline in work resulted in slowing the country’s economic growth rate by 0.2 percentage points per year, the study finds. That translates to $702.1 billion in lost output from 1999 to 2015.

“The recent decline in the labor force participation rate of prime-age workers (ages 25 to 54) is a major factor restricting long-run economic growth, and research suggests that opioid dependency is a principal reason these individuals are leaving the workforce,” the study states.

Congress has been ramping up its attention to the opioid crisis, with multiple committees working on legislation.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is hoping to get a package of bills to the House floor by Memorial Day.

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe risk of kicking higher ed reauthorization down the road Maternal deaths keep rising in US, raising scrutiny Supreme Court weighs future of online sales taxes MORE (R-Tenn.) on Monday introduced legislation to allow the Food and Drug Administration to require opioids to be packaged in smaller, set doses known as “blister packs,” in an effort to reduce prescriptions that are too large.