Estimated Combined Spending by Federal and State Governments to Address Substance Use
"Federal and state governments spent $3.3 trillion in 2005 to operate government and provide public services such as education, health care, income assistance, child welfare, mental health, law enforcement and justice services, transportation and highway safety. Hidden in this spending was a stunning $373.9 billion--11.2 percent--that was spent on tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction. A conservative estimate of local government spending on substance abuse and addiction in 2005 is $93.8 billion.
"The vast majority of federal and state substance related spending--95.6 percent or $357.4 billion--went to carry the burden to government programs of our failure to prevent and treat the problem while only 1.9 percent was spent on preventing or treating addiction. Another 0.4 percent was spent on research and the remaining two percent was spent on alcohol and tobacco tax collection, regulation and operation of state liquor stores (1.4 percent) federal drug interdiction (0.7 percent). For every dollar the federal and state governments spent on prevention and treatment, they spent $59.83 shoveling up the consequences.
"A staggering 71.1 percent of total federal and state spending on the burden of addiction is in two areas: health and justice. Almost three fifths (58.0 percent) of federal and state spending on the burden of substance abuse and addiction (74.1 percent of the federal burden) is in the area of health care where untreated addiction causes or contributes to over 70 other diseases requiring hospitalization. The second largest area of substance-related federal and state burden spending is the justice system (13.1 percent)."
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, "Shoveling Up II: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets" (New York, NY: CASA, May 2009), pp. 1-2.