The analysis considered lost lives and productivity, drug-treatment and law-enforcement expenses, and other factors to determine the yearly cost.
“Our study represents the most comprehensive assessment so far of the economic costs of meth use in the United States,” said RAND economist Nancy Nicosia. “It shows the impact of methamphetamine is substantial.”
The report said that nearly two-thirds of the economic cost of methamphetamine use resulted from the addiction burden on thousands of individuals and 900 deaths among users. An additional $4.2 billion was spent arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating methamphetamine users; the cost of crimes committed by meth users also factored into this calculation.
Other costs included $546 million for drug treatment, $687 million for lost productivity, and $905 million spent removing children from the homes of users.