People often do not recognize the high cost of substance abuse in their lives or on the country in general. As a result, many who need help refuse to seek it, stating instead that the price of treatment puts it far beyond their reach. But which one really costs more: continuing to abuse heroin or seeking help? A new study by Detox.com has the answer.
Heroin is a cheaper substitute for many individuals who start out abusing prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. The former is an illicit drug that is often much stronger than prescription painkillers and can be made and obtained inexpensively. However, a single dose of heroin can cost between $15 and $20 on the street, and those who abuse it will often need to do so several times a day. This can cause an individual to spend more than $150 or even $200 every day on simply obtaining heroin, a price tag that can increase to about $72,000 a year.
When a person chooses to seek methadone maintenance treatment, however, they are likely to spend about $4,700 a year, some of which they may be able to cover with insurance or another payment option. This is a clear indication of the high price of heroin abuse versus the surprisingly lower cost of care. This isn’t the end of the comparison, though, as many individuals see a number of other expenses rise when they take this particular drug.
Continued abuse of a substance like heroin is likely to lead to many problems in a person’s life, most of them costly. For example, many individuals who misuse this drug lose their jobs or do not seek out work because they are so focused on using. This can mean a loss of income every year for the foreseeable future when, in addiction treatment, patients are often given the opportunity to seek employment, to build their resumes, and to increase their incomes in other ways.
People who abuse heroin are putting themselves in danger of incurring other costs as well, such as legal fees or penalties if they are caught in possession of the drug. Selling it can cause increased penalties. Also, heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs of abuse known to the world, which means many people are likely to overdose or need to visit the hospital for its effects. This can increase your expenses even more, from $1,000 for an ambulance ride to $3,500 for a visit to the emergency department.
Finally, the price of heroin abuse on a person’s life isn’t entirely monetary. It can take away you your loved ones, your sense of self-worth, even your life. Since treatment can help you regain some of these important things—not to mention allow you to become healthier and happier—it seems the truth about which option costs more is very clear. If you choose heroin detox and addiction treatment, you are choosing the more effective option for your overall life and the less expensive alternative in the long run.