A new report being released today states that the economic cost of the opioid epidemic is more than previously thought. The White House Council of Economic Advisers, who drafted the report, now states that the opioid epidemic cost the United States $504 billion in 2015, a number six times greater than studies from previous years. Considering the cost, the analysis says that the opioid crisis accounts for roughly 2.8 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

A private report in 2016 estimated that the cost of overdoses, addiction, and abuse for prescription opioids [VIDEO] in 2013 was $78.5 billion. The council says that costs were attributed to criminal justice spending, health care costs, and lost productivity as well.

The surge in the most recent report is due to a growth in the addiction to opioids and more overdoses.

More are dying than reported

The new report also states that while 33,000 opioid-related overdose deaths were reported in 2015, because fatalities are under-reported, the total number of fatalities is closer to 41,000 when illicit opioids like heroin are factored in. Estimates for opioid-related overdose deaths [VIDEO] in 2016 have been estimated at 64,000, but that number could be low as well.

President Trump [VIDEO] put together a commission earlier this year to look into the opioid epidemic, and they advised him to call it a national emergency, which would open up much more funding to fight the epidemic. He did say that he officially declared it a national emergency, but ultimately signed off on it being called a Public Health Emergency, which allowed for an estimated $57,000 worth of funding through the public emergency fund.

How the Trump Administration is handling the opioid epidemic

The president's commission released more than 50 recommendations on how to deal with the epidemic, including more training for doctors, more drug courts, penalties for insurers that won't cover addiction treatment, and a national advertising campaign to raise awareness. However, without funding, none of these recommendations can be enacted. In addition, Trump's new tax plan, written by House Republicans, cuts the requirement for Medicaid to cover addiction treatment.

The Trump administration is continuing to focus its efforts on law enforcement over treatment. After declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, Trump echoed Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign as a way to keep people off of drugs. Given the rise in opioid-related deaths from 2015 to 2016, and the Trump administration's desire to continue the War on Drugs, costs for the opioid epidemic could exceed one trillion dollars a year very soon.