The Five Most Expensive Drugs Available on the Market

One of the telltale signs of addiction is money disappearing like it can’t be spent fast enough.

If you don’t know what drugs your child is using, it can sometimes be helpful to narrow down the possibilities just based on how much money they spend at a time. You may not always be able to know that information, but it is still useful to know just how much money is being spent on a national level for the use of these drugs.

Below are five of the most expensive drugs available, concentrating on the US market.

1. Tobacco

Tobacco is far and away the drug with the most cash flow in America and has been for a long time. With prices that have been consistently rising due to recent tax increases, a pack of cigarettes is more expensive than ever.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that Americans as a whole spend roughly $295 billion per year on tobacco, and an extra $130 billion on top of that for tobacco related healthcare costs.

While the purchase and use of cigarettes and other traditional forms of tobacco have been declining among young people, the vapor tobacco market has risen drastically. Don’t be fooled, vaporizers and e-cigarettes are just as bad for your health as traditional tobacco!

2. Alcohol

As much as many might like to think otherwise, alcohol is just as much of a drug as any other hard drugs. Just like tobacco, the fact that it is legal makes it somewhat easier for minors to acquire simply because it is more readily available than the black-market drugs.

The CDC estimates that alcohol consumption costs the US $224 billion yearly. While an individual alcohol purchase may be less expensive than a comparable black market drug, the availability of alcohol significantly increases how much we spend on it.

You can find more information and resources about alcohol abuse and treatment here. 

3. Pain Killers

With approximately 4.3 million Americans taking prescription opioids, and the price tag on these prescriptions rising steadily, it’s no wonder that pain killers make up so much of the drug money pool.

Many of these prescription drugs end up for sale on the streets rather than through the legal means that are intended for them, and it’s estimated that $72.5 billion is spent on them yearly with an upward trend.

On the black market, opiates tend to be one of the most expensive drugs available which then leads addicts to seek cheaper options such as heroin.

Find more information and resources about Fentanyl and other prescription opioids here.

4. Cocaine

There is a reason that cocaine is viewed as a drug for the rich, and that is simply because it is highly expensive, and its length of effectiveness causes cocaine users to constantly need more and more.

Americans spend roughly $37 billion on cocaine per year at about $60 per gram, give or take. While the number of users may be smaller than legal drugs like alcohol, the 1.5 million Americans who do use cocaine manage to bring a lot of cash to the table simply because it is highly addictive and it disappears very quickly.

5. Marijuana

As marijuana becomes more available to the general public and more accepted socially, the overall cost continues to rise.

Between $30-$60 billion is spent on cannabis each year, and that number continues to go up as more states legalize it for recreational and medicinal use. The medicinal uses of marijuana are still under study and the legal issues on a federal level still need to be ironed out, so we could potentially see the amount of money spent on marijuana rise drastically over the next few years.

On a grand scale, the nationwide numbers are scary enough. But when we think about the implications of these statistics on those we love who are addicted to these drugs, it becomes much more personal. If we can work together within our own families to fight addiction, we can all live healthier and happier!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding addiction or recovery, please contact us right away at 888-357-7577 or email us at [email protected]. We can help you and your family begin to heal from addiction.

Last Updated on September 28, 2022


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