New Research Shows Americans Spend Nearly $150 Billion per Year on Illicit Drugs

While a flood of headlines on the opioid crisis appears in the news on a daily basis, illicit drug use should not be ignored. The number of Americans using drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and meth has risen in recent years, and findings from a new study show how drugs other than opioids are still being abused at an alarming rate. In fact, this research conducted by the nonprofit RAND Corporation analyzed how American drug use from 2006 to 2016. It showed how people in the U.S. are spending as much as $146 billion per year on illegal drugs.

The Trends of Illicit Drug Use

Researchers couldn’t examine receipts from drug dealers, of course, or their financial records. Much of what researchers focused on in their analysis was calculating the average known cost of these drugs and the rate at which they were being used. Interestingly, the drugs that were the most popular changed from 2006 to 2016, and how much users were spending on any given drug.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Cocaine: In 2006, more money was spent on cocaine than any other drug. Americans spending money on cocaine fell 60% between 2006 and 2013, at about $24 billion per year in 2016, indicating the price per gram likely dropped.
  • Marijuana: By 2016, more Americans were spending money on marijuana than any other drug, both from legal and licensed sources. While marijuana was legalized in many more states between 2006 and 2016, it remains illegal per federal law.
  • Meth: More than 3 million Americans used meth at least one time per week in 2016, up from 2 million people in 2006. Americans spent approximately $44 billion on meth in 2016.
  • Heroin: Chronic heroin use spiked more than 40% between 2006 and 2016, leading to more fatal overdoses. Americans spent about $43 billion on heroin in 2016. It is important to note, though, that heroin is a much more expensive drug than meth, cocaine, or marijuana.

Break Free from Drug Addiction

At Decision Point Center, we focus on helping substance abusers prevail in their fight to achieve and maintain sobriety. By kicking drugs, you can lead a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Not only will your physical and mental wellbeing improve, so will your financial health, when you no longer have are spending money on getting high. When you recover from addiction, you can improve all facets of your life. You deserve physical, emotional, and financial stability and to discover your true identity apart from your struggles with addiction. 

Contact us at Decision Point Center today to learn more about how we can help you overcome drug or alcohol addiction. Call (844) 292-5010 and take the first step towards getting sober.

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