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Substance abuse annually costs Tennessee more than $2 billion — more than half of which is attributed to lost income from people who have fallen out of the the labor market, according to an economist. 

The substance abuse epidemic — most notably involving opioids — raises questions about access to treatment, how to stem the illicit use of prescription painkillers and staunch the use of illegal drugs.

But the economic impact is less understood and not generally a component of policy discussions.

Read more at our news partner's website, tennessean.com.

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