Know About Costs of Drug Abuse to the Society

According to the NIDA, the economic cost to U.S. society of drug abuse was an estimated $97.7 billion in 1992. The current estimate is 50 percent higher than the most recent previous estimate. Cost of the alcohol abuse to the society was estimated at $148 billion, bringing the total cost for substance abuse in 1992 to $246 billion. This total represents a cost of $965 for every person in the United States in 1992. These estimates were calculated by The Lewin Group for NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. They also calculated that the cost of drug abuse increased 12.5% from 1992 to 1995, bringing the cost to $109.8 billion in 1995. Although crime rates remained relatively stable between 1985 and 1992, criminal justice expenditures were more than doubled.

The report’s authors have said that substance abuse has three major consequences, health care system, second is criminal behavior and final consequence is job losses, family impoverishment.

Health Costs:
Health care expenditures for drug abuse problems were estimated to total $9.9 billion, out of this $4.4 billion was spent for drug abuse treatment, detoxification, and rehabilitation services, as well as prevention, training, and research. Remaining $5.5 billion spent for treating drug abuse related health problems including HIV infection and AIDS, other diseases, and injuries.

Some 25,000 premature deaths were due to drug abuse in 1992 and many deaths were among drug abusers 20 to 40 years of age. An additional $14.2 billion in lost potential productivity was estimated for drug related illness and disability for 1992.

Crime and Welfare Administration Costs:
Costs of crime that were attributed to drug abuse were estimated at $58.7 billion in 1992. Costs incurred by the criminal justice system due to drug abuse, including drug traffic control expenditures, totaled $17.4 billion. The indirect costs of drug-related crime include lost lifetime earnings of homicide victims, totaling $1.4 billion, and $2.06 billion in lost earnings for victims of nonfatal crimes. Government spent $3.8 billion in 1992 on drug abuse related impairments, out of which administrative costs account for an estimated $337 million.



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