Drug addiction produces nearly $50 billion in health care costs each year. Almost 50,000 people die of overdoses each year. That’s a figure that’s rapidly climbing, driven in large part by an epidemic of opioid addiction. Many thousands more die due to indirect effects of drug abuse, such as cardiovascular disease, suicide, and organ failure. And that figure doesn’t even begin to account for the untold suffering abuse and addiction cause to addicts and to those who love them.
Drug addiction is linked to financial and legal difficulties, career problems, and relationship concerns. It is a factor in physical abuse, in child neglect, and in myriad other social problems. Yet many addicts refuse to accept that their addiction is a problem. This might seem strange, but addiction often goes hand in hand with denial. Addicts feel great when they’re using, and terrible when they’re not. This convinces them that the addiction isn’t a problem. And because drug use cripples their ability to think critically, it can also blind addicts to the catastrophic effects of drug addiction.
Many addicts think their addiction is under their control, that they can stop any time they want. Others are certain they won’t be the next statistic. They know how to do things right, so could never overdose. And that’s exactly what everyone who has ever overdosed thought, too. The disease of addiction lies to addicts and instructs them to lie to themselves. Left untreated, it can be fatal.
in health care costs each year
die of overdoses each year