How much does addiction cost society?

Addiction is estimated to cost American society more than $600 billion each year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).The misuse and abuse of alcohol, over-the-counter medications, illicit drugs and tobacco affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. Drug and alcohol dependencies can lead to other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. It is therefore important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug misuse early.

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Dr. Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine Specialist

The problem of addiction (loss of control over the use of a psychoactive drug or the participation in an activity, such as gambling) is very costly. Among brain disorders, addiction incurs more expense than Alzheimer's disease, stroke, Parkinson's disease or head and neck injury. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the overall costs of substance abuse in the United States exceed half a trillion dollars, including health- and crime-related expenses as well as losses in productivity.

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