Drug addiction costs a person many things. From valued relationships to actual cash, it’s hard to rack up the total value lost on a drug habit. However, we’re going to take a dive into determining the actual cash that an addict may spend on particular drugs to support their habit.

How Much Do Drugs Cost

Prescription vs. Street Prices

Drug addiction can vary in cost depending on whether the addict is getting drugs through a medical prescription or on the street. The price of prescription drugs is set by the pharmaceutical companies. When it comes to purchasing drugs on the street, their price is determined by a number of different factors. These include:

  • Current supply level
  • General income of the area
  • How lethal the drug is
  • How difficult the drug is to obtain

In general, street prices for drugs will be higher in more affluent regions than in poverty-stricken areas. Drugs like cocaine that offer a more lethal effect on the body are going to be more expensive than drugs like marijuana. When it comes to determining a drug’s value, it’s vital that you be mindful of whether it was purchased in a legal manner or on the street.

Most Common Drug Addictions

Most rehabilitation facilities will focus on treating addictions for all five of the most common drugs utilized throughout the United States. These drugs include opioids, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and meth. These facilities also treat a number of other drug addictions.



Drug TypeDescriptionCost per UnitAverage UsageDaily CostAnnual Cost
OpioidsHighly addictive painkillers. Commonly prescribed and can lead to street purchases at higher prices.Oxycodone: $0.33 per pill OxyContin: $6.52 per pill1-3 pills per day initially, increasing over timeVariesVaries
HeroinVery addictive and deadly. Users develop high tolerance quickly.$152 per gram (UN, 2016)10-15 bags per day (about 1 gram)$140-$300~$52,000
CocaineDamages multiple organs. Users develop high tolerance quickly.$25-$200 per gramUp to 5 grams per day~$560 (at median cost of $112 per gram)~$204,000
Crack CocaineCrystalized version of cocaine. Cheaper and quicker high.$18-$200 per gram (average: $60)Up to 5 grams per day~$300~$109,000
MarijuanaLegal in various states but still has psychological dependency.$200-$400 per ounce (with medical card) $200-$425 per ounce (street price)~1 ounce per day~$400~$150,000
MethPowerful stimulant. Users develop tolerance quickly.$20-$60 per gramUp to 1.75 grams per day~$105~$38,000


One of the most addictive drug types out there today is opioids. This general term covers a variety of substances that are grouped into painkillers. Most addicts who use opioids obtain them from a medical professional via a legal prescription. Some of the most common opioids used by individuals include Oxycodone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Tramadol, and Norco.

Zeroing in on Oxycodone, a user can expect to pay about $0.33 per pill. When it comes to OxyContin, users pay about $6.52 per pill without insurance coverage. While many people start out by taking the average painkiller one to three times per day, their usage will increase over time.

This is because the endorphins that the brain releases when it receives an opioid can start to have reduced effects the longer the drug is taken. While prescription drug prices may not be overwhelming, many users will turn to buying opioids on the street due to an inability to get more pills via a prescription. The street value of opioids is estimated to be over four times that of their prescription cost.


Heroin is a very addictive and deadly drug that has continued to sweep through the nation in recent years. While it doesn’t take a lot of heroin to reach a high, it can be expensive to buy. A single gram of heroin was estimated to cost about $152 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2016.

Most grams are sectioned off into baggies that cost anywhere between $5 and $20 to purchase. As one uses heroin, one can become highly addicted to it. And, their tolerance level increases, which requires them to take even more of the substance to feel the high.

Persons with severe heroin addictions have admitted to using between 10 and 15 bags of heroin in a day. That quickly adds up to just over $1,000 per week. Over a single year, a severe heroin user will spend an average of $52,000 to support their drug habit.


Cocaine is reported by the World Drug Report to cost between $25 and $200 per gram, depending on its purity level. This drug is well-known to have damaging effects on multiple organs of the body, including the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, nose, throat, and heart.

Those with a consistent cocaine addiction will consume up to five grams per day on average. At a median cost of about $112 per gram, that adds up to $560 per day. In annual figures, a consistent cocaine addiction can cost up to $204,000 per year. Cocaine is noted to be one of the most expensive drug habits to possess.

Those who are looking for a cheaper addiction and a quicker high can turn to crack cocaine. This is technically a crystalized version of cocaine. Crack cocaine is inhaled through smoking, which allows it to reach the brain much quicker than traditional cocaine usage.

The price of crack ranges widely from a low of $18 to a high of $200 per gram. The average price reported by Vice is $60 per gram. With a five gram a day habit of crack cocaine, that can cost just over $109,000 per year.


It’s referred to by many names like Mary Jane, weed, pot, and grass. Marijuana has reached legalization in various states. However, its psychological dependency remains a big factor in addiction. Users will pay anywhere between $200 and $400 per ounce of marijuana with a medical card. Street prices are a bit higher, ranging from $200 to $425 per ounce.

The average addict will go through about one ounce of weed or more per day. That can add up very quickly to around $2,800 a week. In a year’s time, a marijuana addict can spend just under $150,000 a year on their drug habit.


Known formally as Methamphetamine, meth is a powerful stimulant that can quickly change the body and mind. It’s well-known for reducing a person’s coordination and impairing their visual learning ability. This is a very addictive drug where the user will create a tolerance over time. This will lead many users to increase their usage. Some even report using up to 1.75 grams per day.

The average price of meth can range greatly. The average price reported per gram goes from a low of $20 to a high of $60. With severe users, that totals up to around $105 per day. Over a year, that can end up costing a severe meth user over $38,000 to support their drug habit.

Drug Addiction Can Be Very Costly

With just a quick look at these five popular drugs that people get addicted to, it becomes overly clear just how costly a drug addiction can be. There are literally thousands of drugs that users can get addicted to. A great resource for finding out the street cost of any drug in a particular area of the country is StreetRx.com.

Those who suffer from addiction are likely to face other associated costs with their addiction. These include fees like incinerations, legal fees, loss of job expenses, and so forth. Drugs are just the very start of the financial burden that is addiction.

Not only can addiction be a large financial burden, but it can also affect an individual in many negative ways. From damaging their health to ruining relationships with loved ones, addiction can be very costly for anyone. Curbing addiction early on is one of the best ways to reduce its impact on a person’s financial life.

The Cost of Addiction Treatment Wins in the Long Run

It’s not uncommon for individuals to be wary about the price associated with drug addiction treatment. Just like any other medical treatment, addiction recovery requires professional medical experts that are paid for their knowledge and care of patients.

All it takes is looking at the financial cost of addiction from a long-term standpoint to see that addiction treatment is much cheaper. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on addiction, one can spend much less on recovery to stop the source of the spending. Even just looking at the cost of severe addiction over a five-year period can be astounding for many.

Apart from the financial benefit of seeking addiction help, one can gain lifelong coping skills for handling future addiction circumstances. Those who go through drug addiction recovery find that they gain their self-confidence along the way and better understand their motivations and behaviors. Professional recovery allows them to identify common stressors and develop great social skills without the need for substance use.

Drug Abuse Costs Everyone Money

While understanding how drug addiction affects the financial life of your loved one is important, it’s also crucial to look at drug abuse’s impact on society. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated that for every dollar that is invested in drug addiction treatment, it reduces drug-related crime, theft, and criminal justice costs by up to $7. That’s an amazing return on just a simple investment in addiction recovery.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that it’s much cheaper to provide successful addiction recovery treatment than the alternative of incarceration. They back up this statement with a total estimate of one year of meth treatment costing an average of $4,700 compared to one year in prison costing $24,000. That’s almost six times more expensive to have an addict end up in prison as opposed to sending them to a drug rehabilitation facility.

If you or a family member are experiencing addiction, it’s time to contact Long Island Interventions today for addiction help!


What is the average cost of addiction treatment?

The average cost of addiction treatment can vary widely depending on the type of treatment, the length of stay, and the level of care required. Here is an overview of typical costs for different types of addiction treatment:

Type of TreatmentDescriptionAverage Cost
DetoxShort-term treatment to manage withdrawal symptoms and medical stabilization.$250 – $800 per day
Inpatient/Residential RehabLive-in treatment programs, typically ranging from 28 days to 90 days or more.$6,000 – $20,000 for a 30-day program; $12,000 – $60,000 for a 90-day program
Outpatient RehabTreatment sessions that allow the patient to live at home.$5,000 – $10,000 for a 3-month program
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)A step down from inpatient care, providing more intensive treatment than standard outpatient care.$3,000 – $10,000 for a 3-month program
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)Similar to IOP but more intensive, often providing services 5-7 days a week for several hours a day.$350 – $450 per day
Counseling and TherapyIndividual therapy sessions with licensed counselors or therapists.$50 – $150 per session
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)Use of medications like methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies.$3,000 – $5,000 per year

These costs can vary significantly based on geographic location, the specific facility, and whether the treatment is covered by insurance. Some high-end or luxury treatment facilities can charge much more, offering amenities similar to those found in high-end resorts or hotels. Conversely, there are also non-profit and state-funded facilities that provide free or low-cost treatment options for those who cannot afford private treatment.

Published on: 2022-07-29
Updated on: 2024-05-14