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.

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."