Shoveling Up II: The Impact of Substance Abuse on Federal, State and Local Budgets

Substance use and addiction costs the U.S. billions of dollars each year. This report examines just how much our failure to prevent and treat addiction costs federal, state and local governments and taxpayers, and where those costs fall.

Key Takeaways

This three-year study found that substance use and addiction cost federal, state and local governments at least $467.7 billion in 2005. Of every dollar that federal and state governments spent on substance use and addiction in 2005, 95.6 cents went to paying for the wreckage; only 1.9 cents went to prevention and treatment, 0.4 cents to research, 1.4 cents to taxation or regulation and 0.7 cents to interdiction. Additional findings include the following:


For the government:

Research Methods

This report is based on a review of more than 900 publications, a detailed survey of state budget offices, detailed analysis of federal budget documents and case studies of local budgets.