A new study that looks at the long-term costs of addiction finds heroin, oxycodone and cocaine rank as the top three most expensive substances. Each addiction costs more than a million dollars to support over a 50-year period, CNBC reports.

The average five-year cost for using heroin 10 times a day is $318,500. For oxycodone (80 milligrams once a day), the five-year cost is $132,405. For cocaine (1 gram once a day) the five-year cost is $112,840.

The American Addiction Centers calculated that people who drink 10 beers a day will end up spending more than $14,000 over five years. People who smoke 10-19 cigarettes a day will spend an average of $5,000 over five years, while people who use marijuana twice a day will spend an average of $43,000 over five years.


The Average Cost Of Illegal Street Drugs

Many people who fall victim to addiction lose their homes, relationships, and jobs. Beyond the major financial impact of these problems lies the investment in purchasing the drugs. The average cost of drugs are rising as the demand and potency grows.


Marijuana is often referred to as the “gateway drug” of addiction, is readily available, and can be smoked, vaped, or ingested. With many different strains and both recreational and medical options now available for legal purchase, the price depends on how and where you buy it.

Here are a few facts about the consumption and cost of marijuana:

  • The average cost of marijuana is $15 to $20 per gram.
  • The effects of marijuana can last up to 6 hours.
  • A moderate user will consume up to 1 gram per day.



Heroin is an opioid most commonly taken intravenously (IV). This highly addictive drug creates a feeling of euphoria which sends the person into a trance-like state.

Heroin is most commonly sold as a powder and is increasingly popular. The cost and consumption of heroin can be broken down with a few facts:

  • The average cost of heroin is $15-20 for a single dose (0.1g).
  • Someone with heavy tolerance may spend upwards of $200 every day to maintain their addiction.
  • The effects of heroin can be felt for 2-6 hours, peaking at 2 hours.


Meth releases a surge of dopamine when injected, smoked, or snorted. Meth may also come in the form of a pill. Here are a few things to consider when calculating the cost of methamphetamine:

  • On average, the price of crystal meth is $80/gram.
  • An eight-ball, or 3.5 grams, is $200.
  • A single dose of meth is about .25g, or $20.
  • One dose can last anywhere between 6 and 24 hours, depending on tolerance. 


Cocaine is most commonly snorted, but crack-cocaine can also be smoked or injected. This recreational drug is highly addictive.

  • The average cost of cocaine ranges from $100-120 per gram.
  • A typical “line” of cocaine is 50 milligrams, yielding 20 uses from a single gram.
  • The effects of cocaine last approximately 30 minutes.
  • For a heavy user, cocaine addiction can cost over $120 per day.


A few notable street drugs, including MDMA, Ketamine, PCP, mushrooms, and LSD are known for having hallucinogenic qualities. These drugs vary in price and use.

MDMA (Ecstasy)

MDMA is an oral synthetic drug used as both a stimulant and a hallucinogen. A pill comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are stamped with tiny logos or shaped to look like various objects.

  • A single ecstasy pill can contain anywhere from 70-100mg of MDMA.
  • The average cost of a dose ranges from $15-25.
  • The effects last from 3-6 hours.
  • MDMA is commonly taken multiple times daily.


Ketamine is a drug with pain-blocking and hallucinogenic qualities. This drug is taken for recreation to amplify experience and well-being.

  • Ketamine is found in the form of powder, pill, and liquid.
  • Ketamine, or “Special K,” costs $25 on average per dose (50-100mg).
  • The effects may last for 4-6 hours.


Like ketamine, PCP is an analgesic with hallucinogenic qualities and can also be found in powder, pill, and liquid form.

  • The average user may consume 1-5mg per dose.
  • The cost ranges from $20-30 per gram in powder form.
  • The effects are wide-ranging and can last between 6-48 hours.

Psilocybin Mushrooms

The hallucinogenic quality in mushrooms is caused by the presence of psilocybin, which is found naturally in the mushroom.

  • Mushrooms are taken orally and can be ground up in tea or food.
  • An average user consumes an eighth of an ounce at $20-25 each.
  • The effects of mushrooms can last around 4-6 hours.

LSD (Acid)

LSD, or acid, is a hallucinogenic drug produced from lysergic acid found on the fungus of grains. It can be taken orally as a liquid, tablet, gel sheet, or a piece of saturated paper.

  • Users often consume between 50-150 micrograms in a single dose
  • The average cost ranges from $5-20 per “hit.”
  • The effects of the drug are known as a “trip” and may last for 12-24 hours.

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