Drug addiction is a huge problem in the United States. From alcoholism to nicotine dependence to addiction to more serious drugs like opioids, the health implications and human/financial costs are significant. According to Regis College, deaths related to heroin overdoses increased dramatically from 2010 to 2016. By 2016, synthetic opioids took center stage in overdose deaths, with heroin trailing. The opioid crisis has reached the point where now opiate overdoses are the number one cause of death in individuals under the age of 50.
The healthcare costs of Illicit drugs alone exceed $11 billion annually, and overall costs including incarceration, crime, lost work, and productivity are $249 billion. Drug use is not just found in poor neighborhoods or among the homeless, but many middle class and wealthy Americans suffer too. Often these addictions are a result of over-prescribed narcotics or misuse of prescriptions following trauma.