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New Study Says Opioid Epidemic Is Costing Massachusetts Economy Billions

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      The personal toll of the opioid epidemic is well chronicled.  Now, a Beacon Hill think tank has produced a report on the economic impact.

     The study from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation puts the cost to the state’s economy at $7 billion in lost business productivity.

     The report concludes the opioid crisis is far from over and is likely to get worse, as more lethal synthetic drugs such as fentanyl proliferate.

          The foundation is hosting a forum Friday in Boston on the opioid epidemic. Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey are scheduled to participate.

      WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with taxpayers foundation president Eileen McAnneny.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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