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What Are the Costs of Drug Abuse to Society?


Updated February 24, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: What Are the Costs of Drug Abuse to Society?
Answer: The estimated cost of drug abuse in the United States - including illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco - is more than $700 billion a year. Substance abuse in the U.S. costs society in increased health care costs, crime, and lost productivity.

The costs related to each type of drug include:

The total costs to society for substance abuse goes beyond the financial costs, other costs include:

Back to: Drug Abuse FAQ


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Smoking & Tobacco Use." Fast Facts Updated 14 February 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Excessive Drinking Costs U.S. $223.5 Billion." CDC Features. Updated 17 October 2013.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Frequently Asked Questions." The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction Accessed Feb. 2014.

U.S. Department of Justice. "The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society." National Drug Intelligence Center 15 April 2003

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