Economic Impact of Washington Addiction

Economic Impact of Addiction in Washington

Washington addiction treatment serves to help not only those who suffer from substance use disorder, but also the community at large. Despite a lack of current figures regarding the economic impact of addiction in Washington, a 2005 economic report makes it clear that the state spends far more than should be necessary on drug-related costs.

The economic costs of addiction in Washington hurt taxpayers, lawmakers and even the very addicts and alcoholics who incur said costs in the first place. Fortunately, as we begin to understand Washington addiction economic costs, we may better understand how quality Washington addiction treatment can provide relief to everyone affected by substance use disorder in Washington State.

Washington Addiction Economic Impact

According to the aforementioned report, prepared in 2005 for review by the Department of Social and Health Services, substance use costs Washington State approximately $5.21 billion per year. This means that every Washington citizen not currently incarcerated pays about $832 in taxes related to medical care, law enforcement, lost productivity and other economic costs of addiction. The approximate costs of various addiction-related expenses break down as follows:

  • Mortality – $2.032 billion
  • Criminal justice – $1.087 billion
  • Lost productivity – $1.031 billion
  • Medical care – $791 million
  • Treatment – $98 million
  • Related diseases – $70 million
  • Miscellaneous/Other – $98 million

High costs for crime, lost productivity and medical care are relatively common. The high death toll, while not entirely unique to Washington economic costs, should still shock those who know addiction first-hand. This breaks down further into $1.21 billion from alcohol-related deaths and $824 million from drug-related deaths.

Even more troubling, the age of the economic report suggests potential for a significant increase in costs since 2005. According to Washington State overdose statistics, despite a reduction in prescription drug deaths between 2006 and 2016, heroin overdose deaths have risen significantly from 53 to 287 during that period. Synthetic opioid overdose deaths are on the rise as well. When mortality rates rise, lost productivity and medical care tend to rise along with them. A more recent report on Washington addiction economic costs would quite likely reflect higher losses than in previous years.

How Washington Addiction Treatment Helps

If not for Washington addiction treatment, the above numbers might be even higher. Washington was one of the first states to make a major push toward implementing prescribing guidelines for opioids. Other treatment and prevention efforts have been implemented as well, and comparisons between Washington addiction economic costs and national economic costs indicate that the total economic impact of addiction in Washington might be as much as 40% higher if not for these measures.

In other words, Washington drug addiction treatment may account for the fact that the current Washington economic costs of addiction only come to $5.21 billion rather than $7.29 billion. This would raise addiction costs per taxpayer from $832 to about $1,165 each year.

Unfortunately, while Washington drug rehab may mitigate some economic costs of addiction, there are not nearly enough facilities in the state to treat every single person who suffers. Finding a quality dual diagnosis rehab in Washington State can be difficult due to the sheer number of Washington addicts and alcoholics. Many facilities struggle to keep beds open, and not everyone is willing to seek out-of-state care. They risk finding themselves on a waiting list, which only increases the time and potential for them to use before receiving the help they need. During this time, those who survive may change their minds about treatment altogether, and the cycle of addiction continues unabated.

Finding Washington Addiction Treatment

If you find choosing a Washington treatment program difficult, you may wish to look outside of Washington altogether. Many out-of-state facilities offer programs that focus on long-term recovery, ensuring that you never again need fear contributing to Washington addiction economic costs.

For the best treatment available, many Washington addicts and alcoholics seek Aspire Health Network’s comprehensive treatment facilities. Programs such as those offered at Muse House will provide patients with daily activities that improve their overall sense of well-being. Through a combination of traditional and holistic therapies, our clients learn to appreciate life on life’s terms. They learn to feel comfortable in their own skin, enjoying the world and themselves in a way that simply would not be possible when using drugs and alcohol. More importantly, we provide open beds along with intervention assistance to ensure that those who need help will receive it without undue delay.

Those who require treatment for drug or alcohol addiction should not wait to become one of the statistics cited above. Seek help at a facility that looks past the economic reports and sees the tormented souls and broken hearts behind every number. If you need help, simply contact us today. We’ll help you find what you need.