Financial Costs of Addiction vs. Treatment
By: Lakeview Health
Published: April 30, 2013

You spend your own time looking for your next high and going to great lengths to get money for your habit. You are dealing with the physical consequences of your drug use. You are the only one who knows how painful withdrawal symptoms feel. It’s obvious that this drug addiction has taken over your life. But if you think your drug addiction only affects you, think again. And if you think the only costs are what you spend on drugs, really think again.

The Inner Circle of Addiction

Although you are addicted to drugs, everyone around you is affected. The people closest to you are being harmed by your drug use. Your obligations, like taking care of your children, are now left for someone else. You might have had an overdose or other health complications, leaving your significant other or family to take care of you. If you have lost your job or spent all your money on drugs instead of taking care of your financial obligations, then others have to pick up the slack. Having legal troubles because of your drug use adds financial stress to your family. Bail, fines and fees for courts and lawyers add up, not to mention the stigma attached to legal troubles or criminal convictions. Your co-workers are also dealing with your addiction. Your drop in job performance means that your work needs to be redistributed to others. This causes delays, missed deadlines and lower quality work and more work and stress for others.

The Bigger Picture

The struggles you and your family, friends and co-workers experience are only a tiny part of the bigger picture. Every year, our economy takes a hit from the nation’s widespread drug addiction. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2002 illicit drug addiction cost the United States $180.9 billion. This amount includes:

  • Health care costs: $15.9 billion
  • Loss of productivity: $128.6 billion
  • Criminal justice system: $36.4 billion

The Office of the National Drug Control Policy came out with another report five years later. In 2007, the total cost of illicit drug addiction increased and was estimated at $193 billion. Most of the breakdown included:

  • Health care costs: $11 billion
  • Loss of productivity: $120 billion
  • Criminal justice system $61 billion

Every year the number of drug addicts increases, as well as the costs.

Addiction Treatment: The Affordable Solution

You might think that drug addiction treatment costs more than maintaining your drug habit, but you are wrong. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one full year of methadone maintenance treatment costs a little less than $5,000. Although, inpatient addiction treatment seems expensive, it saves you, your loved ones and your job money in the long run. When you get the treatment needed to stay clean and sober, you eliminate so many extra costs such as:

  • Hospital visits/overdose treatment
  • Legal services
  • Court costs
  • Lost wages

Furthermore, treatment for drug addiction reduces health and social costs for the nation. Choosing to go to a drug rehab center for your drug habit is the best option for your physical, emotional and financial stability. The benefit of getting treatment helps everyone on a personal level and national level. Lakeview Health offers addicts a comfortable and nurturing environment for recovery. Start your journey to sobriety with one phone call.