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The Facts and The Cost of Addiction

The cost of substance abuse is staggering. The disease of addiction is now costing the United States more than $700 billion. As we know, the disease affects the brain and one's behavior. Thus, the toll on society extends far past the devastating harm to the addict's health, livelihood and family life. It also affects communities by raising crime rates, health care costs, and individuals' loss in work productivity. According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, tobacco related health care costs are $130 billion, alcohol $25 billion and illicit drugs $11 billion.

Let's look at the sobering facts about women suffering with addiction:

  • It is estimated that 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older, 9.4 percent of the population, had used an illicit drug in the past month.
  • 15.8 million women (or 12.9 percent) ages 18 or older have used illicit drugs in the past year. (SAMHSA, 2014)
  • 4.8 million women (or 3.8 percent) ages 18 or older have misused prescription drugs in the past year. (SAMHSA, 2014)
  • Every 3 minutes, a women goes to the emergency room for prescription painkiller misuse or abuse. (CDC Vital Signs, 2013)

When you consider that it is estimated that 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older, 9.4 percent of the population, had used an illicit drug in the past month, you realize just how available drugs have become and how quickly the cost of the epidemic grows.

Substance Use in Women and Men Substance Use in Women and Men Image Source: DrugAbuse.gov