Alcohol and Tobacco Use are Responsible for Most Substance-Related Spending by Federal and State Governments

"Almost half (47.3 percent) of government spending on substance abuse and addiction cannot be disaggregated by substance. In fact, research shows that most individuals who abuse or are dependent on addictive substances use more than one drug.9 Of the $248 billion in substance-related spending that can be linked to specific drugs of abuse, 92.3 percent is linked to the legal drugs of alcohol and tobacco."

Estimated Cost Savings for Treatment vs. Law Enforcement

"This study found that the savings of supply-control programs are smaller than the control costs (an estimated 15 cents on the dollar for source-country control, 32 cents on the dollar for interdiction, and 52 cents on the dollar for domestic enforcement). In contrast, the savings of treatment programs are larger than the control costs; we estimate that the costs of crime and lost productivity are reduced by $7.46 for every dollar spend on treatment."