The cost of substance abuse helps bring into perspective the huge gains that can be made both personally and communally. While the cost of addictions can include the loss of a job, family separation, medical problems, and a deep hole to climb out of, the successful path to recovery is full of positive insights, beautifully humble realizations, and the strong feeling that staying centered over the course of time can bring. Separating the things that you need to fix, at first seems daunting, but just as we have done throughout our lives we face the obstacles and change our actions to remove them.
The cost of substance abuse is often placed in statistics and we know statistics do not tell the whole story by a long shot, however it can still illuminate what the perceived cost is. While there are many organizations that are involved with substance abuse, none of them can cover all the aspects that substance abuse entails. But lets start with a fairly well cited stat. Placing dollar figures on the problem, drug use alone cost this country about $180 billion in crime, productivity loss, health care, incarceration, and drug enforcement (Analysis by The Lewin Group, 2004). That is about $600 for every women, child and man in the US. When combined with alcohol and tobacco costs, they exceed $500 billion. That is about $1,666 for every women, child and man in the US. That amount of money could be used for a lot of other things. Remember the adage, “There are only two things that are certain in this world: death and taxes.” Well if we could miraculously end addiction, we could take that money and pay Washington for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, NASA, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.
As much as we all like the federal government, wouldn’t you rather visualize a person receiving that money each year? For example, a family of four would get $6,666. Therefore, they would be able to send both kids to private school since the average tuition for all private schools, elementary and secondary, is $3,116. Of course knocking $550 off your mortgage or rent sure has a sweet appeal to it also.
Now that is just looking at your standard family. It looks even better if you calculate what occurs to the substance abuser that has been successful at keeping the old habits at bay. The job becomes secure, relationships become closer, you become healthier, and you notice that the hole you were in became a hill to stand on, because you can now look out and see where you want to be in the future.
It is estimated that for every dollar spent on addiction treatment programs, there is a $4 to $7 reduction in the cost of drug-related crimes. With some outpatient programs, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12:1 (National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)). While statistics do not tell the whole story, you can see the happy ending with a little insight. If you or someone you know is a substance abuser please contact us right away. We’re here to help.
Call us at 1 (800) 298-1783 or request more information.