Addictions are capable of bringing severe emotional and physical turmoil—it can tear friends and families apart, and create a myriad of health problems. However, many underestimate the monetary damage that drugs and alcohol are capable of inflicting.

A single drink or “just one smoke” might seem affordable at the time, but in an addiction, the prices can pile up. Fulfilling a drug addiction can cost thousands of dollars a year, and even put its victims in debt.

Different types of drugs and alcohol vary in price, but with addiction comes excessive use. Costs will add up, and making an analysis of how much you pay may make you think twice about whether or not these habits are safe hobbies.


Alcoholic drinks vary in price, and most addicts do not stick to a single drink. A standard 12-pack of beer costs around $11, which can be finished in just a couple of days. If you were to buy three packs every week, you would be spending over $1,200 on alcohol every year.

Keep in mind that solely drinking cheap packs of beer is a budget addiction. If you spent an average of $60 every weekend drinking in bars or out with friends, this would double the amount to over $3,000 spent on alcohol annually.

Many alcohol addicts however still drink and spend even more money. An addict will often participate in binge drinking and build it into a habit. Women who have more than seven drinks a week and men who have over 15 drinks a week are considered binge drinkers. These individuals will spend anywhere from $4,500 to $6,000 every year on alcohol.


Smoking cigarettes is an addiction that adds up in price very quickly. Many addicts adopt a “pack-a-day” habit, which averages to at least 20 cigarettes a pack in the United States. These can cost as little as $4.62 in Missouri, as much as $10.67 in New York, and averaging to $5.10 in Tennessee.

A smoker adopting the pack-a-day habit would be spending anywhere between $138 to $320 a month on cigarettes, and $1,600 to nearly $4,000 a year. In a decade, this could add up to the tens of thousands.

Keep in mind that none of this accounts for the costs of potential health problems that can arise due to smoking. These include lung disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, blood clots, or even worsening asthma.

Illegal Substances

Many illegal and controlled substances, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and opioids, are difficult to obtain without legal permission such as from a doctor. This means many addicts often smuggle and illegally purchase these drugs, making them even more expensive than alcohol or cigarettes.

Though marijuana is not considered as addictive as other substances, it still classifies for addiction potential. An ounce of weed can cost over $200 which, averaging four smokes a day, would last a little over a week. This means addicts would spend around $7,000 per year.

Meanwhile, cocaine and heroin are not only more addictive but far more expensive in comparison. Most cocaine users will spend between $8,000 and $10,000 annually, and a gram of cocaine can cost $150 a day. This means those with severe addictions could spend tens of thousands a year. On the other hand, single doses of heroin may be only $5 or $10; however, its addictive nature has pressed “die-hard” smokers to spend between $100 to $200 daily—and over $54,000 annually.

How Much Does Your Addiction Cost You?

Drug and alcohol addictions are not only emotionally and physically damaging, but monetarily damaging. Monetary damage can extend to this emotional or physical damage, in ways no family or community should ever suffer.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local treatment & rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Recovery Program or our Long Term Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.


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