How much do drugs cost? Addiction to drugs costs both the user and society a great deal of money. With each passing year, more and more individuals fall victim to drug misuse disorders. Today, our country is fighting a tremendous opioid crisis. People are getting sicker and are experiencing terrible side effects of drug misuse. Besides physical issues, a person must deal with the expense of fueling a drug habit. As with any illegal substance, the supply of a particular drug affects the prices found on the streets.
Table of Contents
- 1 Personal Costs of Drug Misuse
- 2 The Costs of Drugs on Society
- 3 How the Government Prices Drugs
- 4 Seeking Help for Addiction
Personal Costs of Drug Misuse
As discussed, drug costs differ according to the substance used and the purpose of the drug. Many people are forced to spend high amounts of money on maintaining a bad habit.
Marijuana: Medical Versus Recreational Costs
Today, marijuana use is legal for medical purposes in certain states. It is used to manage pain, lower inflammation, and improve sleep. Other people take the drug on a recreational basis. A few decades ago, marijuana prices began to rise as more wealthy people started using it regularly. Presently, street prices are known to fluctuate depending on quality, supply, demand, and location. For example, the lowest prices for inferior-quality marijuana are found in Arkansas, and it may be bought there for under $140 per ounce. The highest costs per ounce are located in Washington D.C. and nearby areas. Individuals may pay approximately $600 per ounce for high-grade marijuana in these locations. On the other hand, people who have medical marijuana cards usually pay between $200 and $400 for an ounce.
The Cost of Opioids
Opioids encompass a wide variety of substances, including fentanyl, oxycodone, and morphine. These substances are only available legally through a doctor. In 2017, 58 percent of Americans received an opioid prescription, which is a shockingly high amount. Most of these people use insurance or government funding to pay for the medication. To make matters worse, increased numbers of insurance providers price addictive opioids in the lowest cost tier. This makes it easier to become hooked.
A specific example of the difference in a standard prescription opioid price can be seen with Vicodin. With insurance, a person may pay approximately $125 for 100 pills, and on the streets, individual pills sell for up to four times this price.
The annual cost of an opioid misuse disorder depends on the severity, where the person lives, and what drugs are being used. However, it can be pretty costly, and therefore, many individuals seek cheaper alternatives, including heroin.
The Cost of Heroin Addiction
For individuals who are addicted to heroin, there is good and bad news. On a positive note, the price of this drug continues to decrease. Unfortunately, its potency is on the rise. Heroin is being cut with harmful additives to make up for the increase in drug trafficking costs. A person who has a severe addiction may purchase more than ten bags each day. This means that they may spend up to $1,750 each week.
The Prices of Cocaine
Over the last 20 years, the cost of cocaine has increased immensely. However, purity levels have been lowered to fit with the impact of regulations that have been imposed on drug cartels. The increased costs associated with getting the drugs into this country have led to a dilution of the drug. World Drug Report explains that a gram of cocaine costs between $25 and $200. Indeed, this proves that addiction to this drug can be pretty expensive.
Crack cocaine is the crystallized version of this drug and costs less. It averages between $18 and $200 per gram. This is still considered expensive, so many people turn to methamphetamine usage, and Meth prices are lower.
The Cost of Methamphetamines
Methamphetamines are potent stimulants. A single hit of pure meth costs under $10; This is a leading cause for the high rate of overdoses. People develop tolerances in short periods, and this makes them return for more and more. Meth may cost up to a few dollars for each gram. However, even at this low price, an average person may spend at least $13,000 each year to support a habit.
The Costs of Drugs on Society
So far, this discussion has included the cost of drugs for an individual. However, drug misuse makes society pay a high price as well.
Health Care Costs
Drug misuse often leads users to become sick, experience damaging side effects, or overdose. Therefore, medical care is required. In America, binge drinking costs $191 billion, broken down into lowered work productivity, legal expenses, and medical expenses. Other illegal drug abuse accounts for $11 billion in medical costs, including additional hidden costs.
- Paying police to fight drug-related crimes
- Deaths from overdoses
- Effects on unborn children
- Increased spread of diseases like HIV
Drugs hamper a person’s ability to think correctly. When addiction hits, an individual is bombarded by cravings and risky behaviors. This extends outside of the home. As a person abuses drugs, they are not able to fulfill work obligations. Businesses see higher absenteeism rates, decreased performance, and other alarming behaviors that may affect a work setting. Drug misuse is estimated to cost this nation over $120 billion in lost productivity. This includes premature mortality, lower labor participation, and incarceration.
How the Government Prices Drugs
When law enforcement seizes illegal drugs, it becomes difficult to place a price on them. Government entities use different factors to determine the cost of street drugs. The federal government uses information that is based on insight from agents in the field. Also, it gets data from the drugs that are seized and the money that has been used as payment. On the federal level, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is responsible. This entity researches policies and distributes data that is related to drug prices. Since cocaine and heroin are so popular, it is easier to price these items. However, other drugs are harder to value.
Seeking Help for Addiction
When you watch a loved one suffer from the physical and emotional effects of drug misuse, you may not be aware of their disturbing financial situation. In most cases, a person cannot afford to uphold an addiction continuously. Sometimes, this individual must resort to theft or other means to get cash. It is essential to urge people to seek professional treatment. The cost of treatment is far less than feeding a life of addiction. Besides having a positive financial impact, it can help a person gain improved health.
At Garden State Treatment Center, we understand the prevalence of drug misuse disorders and offer help to people who can’t break the cycle of addiction. Our New Jersey facility provides a comfortable place to receive treatment. Our staff is filled with experienced, certified, and compassionate professionals. We have a variety of therapies to help individuals gain long-term sobriety, including individual therapy, group counseling, and relapse prevention treatments. We take a holistic approach to wellness to address a person’s body, mind, and spirit. To keep an individual from experiencing financial ruin from expensive drug costs, call us today.