“Drug abuse and addiction are major burdens to society; economic costs alone are estimated to exceed half a trillion dollars annually in the United States, including health, crime-related costs, and losses in productivity. However, staggering as these numbers are, they provide a limited perspective of the devastating consequences of this disease,”
~Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Congressional Testimony, 3/1/07
Substance abuse not only affects an individual but everyone around him as well. Society is affected largely by substance abuse. Nearly every country in the world is compelled to come up with legislation and policies for addressing the problem. Addiction has a ripple effect. It brings discord not only into the family but to society as well.
Substance abuse and addiction have a huge financial impact on society. The total overall costs of substance abuse in the United States, including productivity, health and crime related costs are estimated to exceed $600 billion annually. This includes approximately $181 billion for illicit drugs, $193 billion for tobacco, and $235 billion for alcohol. Although these numbers are shocking, cost is not the only implication substance abuse has on society. Other examples include family disintegration, loss of employment, failure in school, domestic violence, and child abuse
There is a strong relationship between alcohol and crime. Numerous studies have found that "problem drinkers, alcohol abusers, and alcoholics appear to be over-represented among adults convicted of violent crimes, and people convicted of violent crime often report alcohol consumption immediately prior to their crime" Alcohol abuse has also been implicated in approximately 18 percent of all motor vehicle crashes and nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes in the United States..
Families that are afflicted with substance abuse are more at risk for domestic violence, mental illness, divorce, and sexual and physical abuse...