Drug addiction takes a financial toll in two different ways. The first involves a personal hit to an individual experiencing a substance use disorder. This financial cost often impacts the person’s loved ones, too.
Drug addiction leaves many of its sufferers unable to work regularly or hold onto employment. Many people end up in debt or go broke trying to obtain enough drugs for an ever-increasing habit. Buying and possessing illegal narcotics can get a person arrested and affect their ability to find or keep a job.
Doctor shopping, which is the act of visiting numerous physicians in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for an addictive drug, can also result in being arrested. Entering the legal system costs money in terms of fines, court and attorney costs, and lost wages from missed work.
Financial costs also impact the national economy.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that for every dollar that gets put into an addiction treatment program, society benefits by receiving a return of between $4 and $7. This positive return relates to the reduced amounts in crime and criminal justice costs that society bears. When factoring in healthcare treatment, the savings ratio jumps to become about 12 to 1.
The U.S. pays over $600 billion dollars each year in substance abuse costs. Treatment for addiction is less expensive than using the penal system alone to punish those arrested for crimes related to their addiction. The NIH report states that providing methadone treatment for an addict costs about $4,700 per year versus the cost of $24,000 to house a prisoner for that same year.
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) https://www.nih.gov
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