Apart from all the negative effects that drug and alcohol abuse can cause for your mind and body, there’s another important thing that’s going to suffer a serious blow – your finances. When you first start using, maybe someone else has given you the drugs for free at a party, or you’re only having a few drinks at a time, and cost isn’t even on your radar. However, the more you use, the more of a tolerance you’ll build up, and you’ll need more and more of the substance to feel the same effect. That, of course, means more money spent purchasing it. Depending on what drug you use and how often you use it, you can spend as much as $1,000 a month. Before long, you might find yourself borrowing money from friends and family to finance your habit, or even stealing.
The following are some of the most expensive drugs in the United States, both for the cost to individual users and to society as a whole:
Tobacco is far and away the most expensive addictive substance out there. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), between 2009 and 2012, the annual costs due to smoking in the United States was between $289 and $332.5 billion. $132.5 to $175.9 billion of that was for medical care of adults, and $151 billion was for lost productivity due to premature deaths. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is between six and eight dollars, with one pack a day being normal and some people smoking as many as three.
Alcohol is the next most expensive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol consumption costs the U.S. $224 billion every year. The average bottle of liquor – using Jack Daniels whiskey as an example – is between $20 and $25. Without getting into bottles that are so rare you’d have to find them at auction, you could spend up to $500 on one if you wanted to.
Every year, health insurance companies spend up to $72.5 billion on prescription opiates, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Insurance companies vary according to what they will pay, but the cash price for Percocet is over $1,500 for a 100-pill supply. Depending on the milligrams, people can take up to 12 pills per day.
Next is the first completely illegal drug on the list, cocaine. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Americans spend $37 billion on cocaine a year. Your average product that you buy off the street – cheaper because it’s mixed with who knows what as filler – is about $60 per gram. The pure stuff is on average about $150 per gram. For heavy users, a gram might only last a few hours.
So, if you think you’re developing a dependence to alcohol or drugs, or if you’re looking for a reason to quit, you might want to keep in mind how much of your hard-earned money you’re essentially throwing down the drain.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.