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Drug Prices: The Real Cost

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It’s no secret drugs cost money, we all know from one avenue or another that drug prices can be high and there is a big financial drain on people with addiction. Drug prices are wide-ranging across different addictions and If you’ve ever wondered how much do drugs cost, you aren’t alone. It’s a common question, and one of the more important things to recognize is that when we talk about the monetary high costs of drug use. 

Drug prices generally don’t even take into account the many other costs including health problems, emotional and psychological costs, and in some cases, the loss of life.


Illicit Drug Prices on the Streets

The following gives a rough estimate of what someone might pay for illicit drugs on the streets.



Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in America, and many states have made it legal medically and in some places, recreationally. Marijuana has a psychoactive chemical called THC. It’s used in a variety of ways. For example, it can be smoked, vaped, cooked into food, or used as a liquid.

Marijuana users pay around $20 a gram; an eighth of marijuana, which is about 3.5 grams, might cost around $40.



Heroin is an illegal opioid that’s the cause of many of the deaths during the opioid epidemic. Heroin can be something that people start to use after they develop an addiction to prescription opioids because it is cheaper and easier to get.

The price of around 0.1 grams of heroin could range from $15 to $20.

Someone who is a heavy user might pay $150 to $200 a day for heroin. In a lot of locations, you can buy heroin for cheaper than you can buy cigarettes, especially in bigger cities.

There’s a reason for this—drug cartels have focused on providing a cheap product to a larger number of people who can’t afford an opioid prescription medication.



The effects of cocaine last only around 30 minutes, and the average price is $100 to $120 a gram. For someone who is a heavy cocaine user, they could spend upwards of $100 a day supporting their addiction.



Methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth, is a powerful stimulant drug. It affects the central nervous system. This drug is very addictive and it’s usually smoked, although it can be injected, swallowed, or snorted.

The price of crystal meth averages around $80 a gram. One dose of meth is around 0.25 grams, so you might pay $20 for a dose.



There are a lot of other street drugs that fall into the larger category of hallucinogens.

  • MDMA, also known as ecstasy, usually costs anywhere from $15 to $25 on the streets for one pill, with effects lasting anywhere from three to six hours. 
  • A single dose of LSD, also called acid, might cost anywhere from $5 to $20. 
  • Hallucinogenic mushrooms can cost $20 to $25 for around an eighth of an ounce. 
  • PCP, or Angel Dust, can cost $20 to $30 per gram, with a single dose being anywhere from one to five milligrams.

street drug prices statistics infographic

The Cost of Prescription Drugs

Vicodin is one example of a prescription opioid that has a high potential for misuse. Prescription drug prices are very high; if you get a prescription for Vicodin and you don’t have health care, drug companies may charge around $125 for 100 pills. That comes out to about $1.26 per Vicodin tablet. If you were to go and try to buy that same pill on the street, the list price would cost nearly four times more in most cases.


Adderall is one of the brand-name drugs that is highly abused amongst students. Prescribed to treat symptoms of ADHD. It is also sometimes abused by people who want the energy burst, focus, and concentration it can create. With health care or a discount card, generic drug versions of Adderall will usually cost around $25 a month. Buying Adderall on the streets or using it without a prescription may mean that you pay around $10 a pill.


The Other Costs of Addiction

Drug prices aren’t the only expenses involved in substance abuse; addiction takes a toll in numerous ways beyond financial burdens. The impact of addiction can lead to the loss of employment, hinder fulfillment of home responsibilities, and strain valuable relationships. Additionally, individuals may face legal repercussions, adding further costs and complexities to their lives.

Concerns may arise about the affordability of addiction treatment, deterring some from seeking help. However, the truth is that untreated addiction is far more costly, both monetarily and in other aspects. Left unaddressed, addiction can jeopardize one’s life, making addiction treatment a critical and life-saving investment. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we believe in providing accessible and effective addiction treatment to break free from the grip of addiction and embark on a path to lasting recovery. Taking that step towards treatment with us can be one of the most valuable investments for a brighter and healthier future. Contact us today to get started!

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