The High Costs of Drug Abuse
So often I've heard addicts say to me, "I'm only hurting myself." They don't understand that drug addiction hurts everyone, not just the addict or the addict's family. Let's look at some of the financial costs of drug addiction.
There are many costs--health care costs, crime related costs, health administration costs, lack of productivity costs, welfare costs, and birth defect costs, to name a few.
Drug abuse and addiction are a major burden to society
Estimates of the total overall costs of substance abuse in the United States—including health- and crime-related costs as well as losses in productivity—exceed half a trillion dollars annually. This includes approximately $181 billion for illicit drugs, $168 billion for tobacco, and $185 billion for alcohol. Staggering as these numbers are, however, they do not fully describe the breadth of deleterious public health—and safety—implications, which include family disintegration, loss of employment, failure in school, domestic violence, child abuse, and other crimes.
These figures are from NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse).
The only thing that makes sense financially for the United States is prevention--beginning with the pregnant mother and for her child in preschool, elementary school and middle school. Every cost-benefit analysis of prevention vs. treatment points toward prevention.