How Much is Addiction Costing Us?

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addiction costs

Most of us are familiar with the daily effects that addiction has on our lives; work trouble, relationship problems, home life issues, and emotional/physical changes are all typically negatively impacted by addiction. Addiction has destroyed trust and connection, stolen kindness and compassion, and has taken over either ourselves or our loved ones. The costs are high, and there is no doubt about that. How much exactly is addiction costing us as a nation, as a family, as a person? With a report from the 2015 U.S. Surgeon General Report stating that over 27 million people reported current use of illicit use of drugs or prescription drugs and over 66 million people reported binge drinking in the past month, the financial costs are frightening.

U.S. News states that each year, the economic impact on the United States from the misuse of prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol is $442 billion. That’s a lot of money, and a lot of people that are impacted. AOL generated a chart sourcing from several government organizations and showed that $30 billion is spent on drug treatment, $276 billion is spent on active addictions, $166 billion is spent on healthcare, $41 billion is spent on the war on drugs, $97 billion is spent on crime and accidents related to drugs and alcohol, and $437 billion is spent on lost productivity of employers all over the nation. Taxpayers are lending much of their money towards this.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) notes that treatment can help reduce the costs having to be spent towards incarceration, drug-related crime, theft, and more. More focus on treatment has also been said to lead to fewer interpersonal conflicts, greater workplace productivity, and fewer drug-related incidents, including overdoses and death. The NIH explained that one year of maintenance treatment for methadone, for example, would cost a person $4,700, whereas one full year of imprisonment costs approximately $24,000 per person.

The national effects are large, and it doesn’t stop there. AOL claims that Americans spend approximately $276 billion per year on drinking, smoking, and drugs. A report made available by the White House in 2014 stated that drug users are spending approximately $100 billion each year on illicit drugs. As more money is being spent, the problems from addiction reach all the way into our homes, into our families, and affect our children – our future.





If you have an addiction and are ready to take back control over your life, call us today at 888-958-7511. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and addiction recovery treatment center dedicated to helping you restore your mind, body, and spirit. We believe in optimizing your well-being while you’re with us so that you can continue to utilize your tools after you leave. We provide a support team you can count on. Call us for a consultation.

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