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Drugs and Society. Many impacts at many levels. How much does it cost?. According to the NIDA substance abuse costs the nation a half a trillion dollars each year. That’s $500,000,000,000.
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Drugs and Society Many impacts at many levels
How much does it cost? • According to the NIDA substance abuse costs the nation a half a trillion dollars each year. That’s $500,000,000,000. • According to 2005 statistics, that was about 10% of the budget for federal, state, and local governments combined.
What are some of the costs? • Health Care systems • Justice System • Productivity • Environment
Health Care • Treatment programs for addiction • Emergency Care • Overdoses • Injuries to users • Injuries to others • Car accidents • Meth lab fires • crime
Justice • System is burdened at every level • Arrests • Adjudication • Incarceration • Post-release supervision • Drug courts have alleviated some burden • Non-adversarial, coordinated approach
Productivity • Premature mortality, illness, injury, and imprisonment all reduce national productivity • Around 25,000 deaths a year occur due to drug overdose or poisoning • People who enter treatment are incapacitated and exit the labor force • Incarceration due to drugs has about 620,000 people out of the work force • Drug related unemployment and absenteeism account for lost productivity as well
Environment • Environmental impacts are costly as well • Methamphetamine production causes most of the damage due to chemicals involved • In 2009- in California, cleanup of meth labs cost nearly $800,000. There is no nationwide data, but with 50 states, the cost is likely in the tens of millions of dollars range • Outdoor cannabis production causes issues due to clear cutting, erosion, watersheds being altered, and chemicals such as pesticides
What to do? • Treatment • Treatment is costly, but let’s look at it for a moment. Methadone treatment, used to help break addiction to opiates (like heroin) costs $4700 a year per patient. Incarceration for that same person is $24,000 a year. • Education • Studies show that community prevention programs may save as much as $10 for every $1 spent
Does society influence abuse levels? • Family, community, and culture all have an influence. • A study of Asian American and European American students showed a significantly lower percentage of alcohol use among the Asian American students • Asian family structure tends to be more closely knit • Less time spent with peers and more with family • Socioeconomic status has influence as well • Studies indicate that households with high education and income may put adolescents more at risk for binge drinking and marijuana use • They also indicate that households with low education and income put adolescents more at risk for drug use • Could be a variety of reasons. For example, low income parents and high income parents may work long hours and have less time to spend with children.
Sources • http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs38/38661/drugImpact.htm • http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/frequently-asked-questions/drug-addiction-treatment-worth-its-cost • http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/preventing-drug-abuse-among-children-adolescents/chapter-3-applying-prevention-principles-to-drug-abuse-preven-4 • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/us/28addiction.html • http://www.cgu.edu/PDFFiles/sbos/DonaldsonAuSubstanceUse.pdf • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924306/?tool=pubmed • http://epirev.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/1/36.full