Heroin Addiction Continues to Cost Our Country Billions


Heroin continues to cost the United States billions of dollars a year, and the problem is only getting worse. According to a new study created by Detox.com, heroin addiction actually costs the country $500 billion annually due to expenses like ED visits, incarceration, and lost productivity. In fact, $78.5 billion is the yearly price for treating illicit drug use alone. Currently, the government is paying for 46 percent of all the costs heroin addiction incurs.

Still, if you or someone you love is abusing this dangerous opioid drug, the cost to the country often isn’t as impactful as considering your own losses. The price of heroin can seem low, especially when compared to prescription opioid drugs, which can sell for $5 or more per pill. A single dose of heroin will only set you back about $15 to $20, and it is much more potent than most prescription pills.

Unfortunately, many people don’t take into account the fact that heroin addicts need more than one hit a day, perhaps 10 at the most. This can lead to a daily habit of around $200, which will cost an individual upwards of $73,000 a year. This is only the price for purchasing heroin, which often comes with other expenses addicts don’t consider.

Heroin can cost you hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the consequences of your use. What if you needed to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance for an overdose situation? This could wind up costing $4,500 or more, just for one trip to the emergency department. Once you are stabilized, you will owe a large amount to the hospital, especially if you don’t currently have insurance. Also, if you were to get arrested for heroin possession, prison time will take a toll on your life, often taking your ability to keep or get a job serving your time. In addition, many people are fined upwards of $50,000 or $100,000 on top of a prison sentence.

As you can see, heroin cannot only become expensive for the government and the rest of the country but also for everyday users. You can lose things for which there is no monetary value as well, such as your loved ones, your self-esteem, and your health. No matter how you look at it, heroin takes and takes—and gives little back.

So what can you do to protect yourself and to minimize the toll heroin is taking on your life? One of the first steps is to seek professional heroin detox. This treatment will allow you to be safely weaned off the drug and to avoid intense withdrawal symptoms that could cause you to relapse. Detox is often an effective and necessary part of addiction treatment, though it absolutely must be followed up with rehab in order for patients to recover and stay stable after treatment.

Make a choice to live a better, happier, and less harmful life today. Though heroin may seem inexpensive, in reality, it could cost you everything you have.


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