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Most Expensive Drug Addictions

Posted by admin on August 19th, 2008 in Drug Usage

Many of us have faced at least some level of addiction to one of more of the following drugs, even if it was for a short time. In the midst of an addiction, it is easy to ignore the long-term financial impact and justify the satisfaction of the psychological and physical urges. It is hard to see the big picture sometimes on our own, and depending upon the level and type of addiction, apathy and pride can cause us to ignore consequences. We hope that some of the figures below will help young people to see the financial impact of starting, and promote a deeper inquiry into the real costs of addiction.

1. Cocaine

Cash for Drugs


The cost of cocaine has dramatically risen in the past two years. According to USAToday, the price of one pure gram of cocaine has increased by 47% since 2006, selling for $137 for one gram. A cocaine addict can easily spend upward of $100 per day on cocaine, or $36,400 per year. Cocaine users prioritize the euphoric experience and place the purchase of the drug over much else, such as paying rent, bills, food, etc. The euphoric feelings take precedent, and can mask any financial worries, causing the habit to be seemingly affordable. When powder cocaine is processed into crack,

2. Methamphetamines



Along with cocaine costs rising, Methamphetamine is proving to be one of the most expensive drugs on the street. The going rate for one pure gram of Meth is around $245, which is a dramatic leap from $133 in 2006. Meth users may spend more than $1,000 per week, resulting in expenditures of approximately $52,000 per year. Methamphetamines are also known on the street as “Ice”, “Ecstasy” or “Speed”. One eight ball is 3.5 grams, and can cost anywhere from $250 – $1,200, depending on the cut. An average addict can go though one eight ball in two days.

3. Alcohol

Bar Tab


An addiction to alcohol can cost you financially and is the number one drug of choice since it is not illegal. Non-addicted adult social drinkers can spend $600 per month on alcohol. An alcohol addict can spend $2,800 per month, depending on the amount consumed. For an alcoholic, a night at the bar can be financially devastating, with staggering subtotals. When calculating the cost of alcohol, legal expenses related to citations and criminal offenses, lost productivity at work, and a shorter lifespan, one study  ( concluded that the actual cost of alcohol addiction amounts to $37,300/year for each individual. Most of the time, crimes are committed by a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, with consequences ranging from jail time to hefty fees. A person convicted of driving under the influence will spend on average $5,540 on their DUI/DWI fees.

4. Marijuana

Marijuana Joint


Marijuana is generally viewed as the least harmful drug. It averages $20 per gram, depending on the quality and type. A person addicted to marijuana may use up to 94 joints per week, or 13 joints a day, which would cost $260 a week or $13,520 annually. Designer marijuana strains like the White Widow strain contains a potent amount of THC, which makes the bud white, hence the name. White Widow can cost $350 per ounce, making for a very expensive habit.

5. Prescription Painkillers



Using prescription medicines is costly, especially if the user does not have an injury. Prescription painkillers are around $15 per generic bottle of 20 pills, with a prescription. A painkiller user who just wants to get high usually pays more for street drugs. Generally, one’s tolerance increases, causing an increase in the drug to achieve the “high” effects. Buying painkillers on the street can cost up to $20 per pill. A person with a painkiller habit can use up to 70+ pills per week, which can cost $1,400, totaling $35,000 per year in many cases.

6. Tobacco



According to a Duke University study by health economists, the real cost of smoking was calculated at $40 per pack, which includes the cost of the cigarettes and excise taxes, increased insurance premiums, medical expenses for the smoker and the family of the smoker, and lost earnings due to disability. By age 65, a pack-a-day smoker will have smoked half a million cigarettes. Tobacco addiction has been compared to heroin addiction and is one of the toughest habits to quit. Smokeless tobacco or “dip” costs around $4 per can (or more depending on state taxes), and to support the habit of 3 cans per week costs over $600 per year. A pack-a-day smoker at $4 a pack spends over $1,400. Many people smoke in their vehicles, and are subject to littering fees ranging from $600 – $1,000 if the cigarette is ashed or thrown out of the window.

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