Studies: Drug and tobacco addictions in Indiana cost state billions every year

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two new studies have found that tobacco and opioid addictions cost Indiana more than $8.2 billion a year and say the state should do more to address these problems.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the studies released Thursday determined the toll from tobacco alone comes to $6.8 billion, taking into account health-care costs, debts incurred from secondhand smoke and lost productivity due to smoking on the job at smoking-related diseases.

The studies also found that opioid overdose deaths also cost the state $1.4 billion in 2014. More than 1,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2014, and tobacco was the cause of more than 10 times that number of deaths.

The studies were released by the Fairbanks Foundation and conducted by IUPUI’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health.

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