drug abuse

Drug Abuse: The Costs to Society

The act of drug abuse can be very costly to our society as a whole. Treatment in a professional rehab facility is not only a safe and effective option for one substance abuser’s recovery, it is also more cost effective for our society than letting drug use continue unchecked.

The Full Picture of Substance Abuse Costs

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction and substance abuse costs the United States more than $600 billion annually. This is true for a combination of reasons:

  • Those who abuse drugs are more likely to commit crimes, costing the nation money. In addition, drug related crimes make up 60 percent of the individuals in federal prison, according to the NIDA Archives.
  • 31 percent of the homeless population of America suffers from a substance abuse disorder.
  • The health care costs for those who abuse drugs continue to climb higher and higher. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, health care costs have increased from $10.7 billion in 1992 to $15.8 billion just 10 years later.

Other costs include

  • Treating children born with dependencies on drugs their parent abused while pregnant
  • Accidents caused by substance abuse
  • Individuals who miss work due to substance abuse, resulting in a loss of productivity
  • Comorbidity associated with substance abuse that can cause additional disorders and require dual diagnosis treatment

As you can see, there are many costs that a person who begins using drugs can and may eventually pass on to the rest of society. This is a serious issue many people are not able to see in its full scope.

Substance Abuse Costs Everyone

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the cost of drug abuse affects everyone: through an increase in crime, the problematic issues associated with drug use and health, and the negative effects drug use have on productivity. But it also helps to think about who your drug abuse affects close to home:

  • Your loved ones will struggle with the toll your substance abuse takes on their lives. Whether it means they will not be able to count on you like they used to or they are having a hard time making ends meet because you are spending any money you have on drugs, they will experience the costs of this difficult situation.
  • Those you interact with on a daily basis could experience many potential issues associated with your drug abuse. For example, if you are driving while intoxicated and crash your car into someone else’s, that person will have to deal with both the financial and emotional costs of that accident, which are likely to be numerous and serious.
  • Your drug abuse costs you every day. It costs you your health, your ability to concentrate, and your interest in the activities and occupations that once mattered to you.
  • Your drug abuse is financially costly, as well. If you are spending all your money on substances, it is likely you are already addicted.

Imprisonment vs. Treatment

While so many addicts are currently being imprisoned as a result of drug abuse, this is not considered to be an effective, long-term option for safe recovery. In truth, imprisonment is actually much more expensive than professional treatment in a rehab center. According to the NIDA, one year of methadone maintenance for an opioid addict costs around $4,700 while a year of imprisonment will cost upwards of $18,400.

Treatment also helps to reduce the issue of substance abuse, while imprisonment has not been found to create the same effects. In fact, every $1 invested in the treatment of an individual suffering from a substance use disorder has been found to yield up to $7 in the reduction of crime.

Is Treatment Really a Cost-Effective Option?

Treatment is actually a cost-effective option that can help you remedy the costs that you or your loved one has put on yourselves and society. Treatment can actually help a person who has been abusing drugs for years make a change for the better and avoid using in the future. Though paying for treatment can sometimes seem like a roadblock, recovery is actually the more cost-effective option.

How Do I Pay for Treatment?

There are many different ways in which you can pay for your treatment program. Some individuals use their insurance to help them pay, while others can apply for scholarships. In addition, self-payment is an option that is not as overwhelming as one might think. You could qualify for a partial scholarship or a payment plan that would help you pay for your treatment program.

Finding Help for Substance Abuse

It is time to stop letting your addiction cost you everything and to seek help that will allow you to put this chapter of your life behind you. Call 844-937-2559 today to speak with an advisor and to learn more about the treatment options available to you for a safe recovery.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/drug-addiction-treatment-worth-its-cost

https://archives.drugabuse.gov/about/welcome/aboutdrugabuse/magnitude/

https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/pdf/economic_costs.pdf

https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs44/44731/44731p.pdf

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iv/6-cost-effectiveness-drug-treatment

 

 

 

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