UN Report: Global Treatment of Drug Addicts Costs $250 Billion
This Tuesday, the U.N. Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that global treatment for drug abusers would cost about $250 billion a year, if all individuals in need of help received it. Of course, much less than $250 billion is currently being spent -- the U.N.’s drug-fighting agency reported that less than 1 in 5 people actually receive the help they need.
The $250 billion required for adequate treatment amounts to about 0.3 - 0.4 percent of the world’s GDP. Still, lost productivity related to drug abuse has much a higher price -- each year, it costs the U.S. at least 0.9 percent per capita.
In its annual report, the UNODC said that 5 percent of the world’s population used illegal drugs at least once in 2010 -- that’s approximately 230 million people. And while worldwide drug abuse “remained stable in the five years up to and including 2010,” drug use kills about 200,000 people a year.