health as it happens

The cost and consequences of addiction -


Wednesday, August 4th 2021

The consequences of paying for one's dependance can lead to economic hardships, legal issues, damaged relationships, and lost property.

The consequences of paying for one's dependance can lead to economic hardships, legal issues, damaged relationships, and lost property.

Addiction has many layers, from its effects on people's lives to the costs of different drugs and one's determination to pay the price. According to Addiction Center, the legal supply of a drug affects street prices and the national rate of addiction. The consequences of paying for one's dependence can lead to economic hardships, legal issues, damaged relationships, and lost property.

The cost of drug abuse is different for each person. It depends on the substance, amount, and frequency of abuse. Substance abuse can alter a person's brain, tricking it into thinking it needs drugs to function. This alteration then leads to a spiral of crime, driving people to sell their belongings or those of loved ones, drain their savings, sex work, and petty theft, to name a few.

Just as the cost of drug abuse or addiction varies from person to person, it also differs for the drug.

People with a medical marijuana card pay between $200 and $400 on average for an ounce and $20 to $60 for a gram. On the other hand, street prices for weed fluctuate depending on the area, supply, demand, and quality. The average ounce of street weed yields 28 blunts, 42 joints, or 70 bowls for a pipe. For example, a person who smokes four joints per day spends between $4,800 and $13,905 a year on marijuana.

Opioids can vary in price depending on the substance. Most opioid prescriptions per 100 people in the U.S. were purchased using government or privately funded insurance. The yearly cost of opioids depends on the user's location, the severity of their addiction, and prescription and synthetic opioids. An oxycodone prescription taken three times a day can cost $361.35 per year without insurance and $3,285 if purchased on the street.

In 2016 the United Nations on Drugs and Crime reported the average price of heroin in the U.S. was $152 per gram, typically divided into 20 bags. People with severe heroin addictions purchase 10 to 15 bags of drugs per day, causing them to spend between $438 and $1,750 per week and $22,810 and $91,250 per year.

Crack cocaine typically costs less than cocaine because it is less pure and produces shorter, intense highs. In 2016, the average cost was $60 per gram, meaning an individual with addiction can spend as much as $82,125 a year on crack cocaine.

Meth releases four times as much dopamine as cocaine. While the cook times are longer, drug trafficking organizations can generate more profit in a shorter time. Prices can vary, ranging from $3 to $500 per gram. A single hit costs about $5, and a gram contains roughly four hits. Grams cost between $20 and $60. On average, a person with a meth addiction can spend between $12,775 and $38,325 a year.

An alcoholic who drinks a 12-pack a day consistently for a year spends over $3,000. This cost does not include potential legal issues that can cost thousands more. It's harder to estimate the price of illicit drugs, but the cost can be much higher.

How does the cost of one's addiction compare to the cost of treatment?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction and substance abuse can cost more than $600 billion each year in the U.S. When compared to the price of addiction, treatments involving drug detox, inpatient, and outpatient rehab, is much cheaper. The cost of treatment also outweighs the costs of jailing individuals by thousands.

To learn how Northwest Texas Healthcare System Behavioral Health can help you or a loved one with addiction, visit their website online at or call 1-800-537-2585 or 806-354-1810 to get a free assessment seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Let them help you find your way.