How much does meth cost Americans?
The RAND Corporation conducted an elaborate national estimate of the economic cost of methamphetamine (meth) use in the United States. Their analysis places the economic cost of meth use at around $23.4 billion per year. However, given the uncertainty in the estimates of the cost of meth, they provide a lower-end estimate of $16.2B and an upper-end of up to $48.3B.
So, can we save money by investing in meth addiction treatment? How do the costs of meth use compare to the costs of addiction treatment programs? Explore this text and the visual infographic above to learn more, and then join us for a Q&A in the comments section at the end of the page.
Cost of meth treatment in the U.S.
The estimated cost of methamphetamine addiction treatment in the United States is 545.5M per year. Here is where that money comes from:
- $506.1M – Community-based methamphetamine treatment
- $39.4M – Specialty treatment provided by the federal government
Most importantly, investing in treatment is cost-effective. For every $1 spent in addiction treatment, we save from $4 up to $7 in:
- reduced crime
- reduced theft
- lower criminal justice costs
How much does using meth cost you vs. treatment?
- If you use ¼ gr. of meth daily, in one year time it will cost you $9K on obtaining the drug.
- If you use ½ gr. of meth a day, it can end up costing you up to $18K per year.
- 1 gram of methamphetamine daily will cost you more than $36K a year.
Now, let’s compare those costs with the average estimated cost of meth treatment episodes:
- $1,200 for methamphetamine detoxification
- $2,200 for a short-term inpatient meth treatment
- $2,300 for a standard outpatient meth treatment
- $4,000 for an intensive outpatient meth treatment episode
- $8,000 for a long-term inpatient (residential) meth treatment
Moreover, by investing in meth addiction rehabilitation, you will be saving all the money that you won’t be directing towards buying the drug, health care expenses due to damaged physical and mental health from meth, accidents and injuries, criminal justice expenses, etc.
Meth addiction treatment questions
Do you have any questions that you’d like to know the answers to? Please post them in the comments section at the end of the page. We try to answer all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly. In case we don’t know the answer to your questions, we will refer you to professionals who can help.