facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

White House Study Shows Americans Spent $109 Billion on Drugs

Though the study only includes data up to 2010, before the recent surge in heroin abuse, Americans now spend more on drugs than they do on furniture and appliances.

Image: 

I should've bought that new couch. Shutterstock

By Paul Gaita

03/13/14

| Share

A White House-commissioned report from the RAND Corporation estimates that American drug users spent $109 billion on marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin during the year 2010.

The figures, sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and published as “What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs,” is not based on hard numbers, as no system exists to accurately record illegal drug sales. Rather, the figures in the report are drawn from surveys of drug use prevalence and frequency, as well as estimates for production and from law enforcement seizures.

According to RAND’s research, marijuana appeared to be the illegal drug of choice for most American users between 2006 and 2010, netting somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 billion. Cocaine and crack, which began the aughts with more than $50 billion in sales, dropped to roughly $28 billion by the close of the decade. Heroin sales remained largely unchanged during the decade, while meth rose sharply between 2000 and 2005 before experiencing a sharp drop by 2010. The estimated sale for all four drugs between 2000 and 2010 is $1 trillion – more than the gross domestic product for many developed countries.

The RAND report is tempered by several factors, including three years of marijuana data that does not compare to the rest of the decade due to survey changes. It also does not take into consideration any increase in marijuana use due to legalization in Colorado and Washington State, or the staggering rise in heroin use during the last four years.

Still, the numbers remain astonishing in their scope. As Bloomberg Businessweek grimly noted, the $109 billion spent on the four drugs covered in the study surpassed sales on electronics and appliances ($101 billion), furniture ($90 billion), and even alcohol sales at bars ($21 billion).

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv