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.

AlterNet / By Angela Lee

Posted at June 27, 2012, 10:09am

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