How The Drug War is Affecting the American Economy

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America, like the rest of the world, has a humongous appetite for drugs. Huge investments have gone into the drug war with meagre results achieved.
As an average investor or citizen that is not addicted or a part of the supply chain, you may not understand how the drug situation affects you. However, the data on the losses hitting America each year as a result of the drug war affects you some ways.
In the last 45 years, the United States has spent over a trillion dollars on the war against drugs. More than 500,000 inmates are being held as a result of drug related offences. The cost for keeping each inmate is of $25,000 which means that the US spends over $12.6 billion each year on drug related incarceration. When you consider the fact that the country only spends 58% less to educate the average child, you will begin to understand the impact of the drug war on the economy. Investments that would have otherwise gone towards improving life for the next generation are deployed to maintain the war leaving the populace at a disadvantage.
The expenditure is far from only on the side of government. The drug problem is bleeding the American populace dry, taking away money from pockets. The cocaine market is worth $88 billion. The heroin market is worth $55 billion. Addiction treatment centres like are doing their best to save as many people as possible but those that remain addicted to heroin and cocaine will spend $18,000 and $25,000 each year to fuel their habit.
There is no gainsaying the fact that these sums would be better used helping the country’s ailing economy. The US has been struggling to cope with dwindling finances. You have major cities like Detroit going bankrupt while huge amounts of money are siphoned away to foreign countries untaxed in the drug economy. The lost revenue and the investments made by the US government on the drug war would have helped service the debt problem that the country is facing.
Some More Chilling Facts about the Drug War

  • The United States is the biggest consumer of illicit drugs in the world.
  • Every 14 minutes, a drug related death occurs in the US, with 3123 people dying each month.
  • The US spends $754 per second on the war on drugs.
  • 149 lines of cocaine are snorted per second in the US.
  • Colombia, Peru and Bolivia are the main suppliers of cocaine to the US.
  • Dozens of tunnels exist between South American countries and the US for the drug trade.
  • 22 tons of heroin are consumed in the US each year.
  • Around 70% of guns seized in Mexican drug related crime scenes were purchased in the US.

The solution to the drug problem is to see the magnitude for what it is. The amount spent thus far shows that the US Homeland understands the gravity of the situation at hand but has it done enough to deal with the issue? Are there more effective ways of fighting the war that have not been exploited? Why is the country spending so much with marginal returns? How long will the country continue to lose economic ground as a result of this war?
Until these questions are answered, the general public need to contribute their quota towards ending this war. Instead of spending between $180,000 and $300,000 in a decade to fuel your addiction, get help in a rehabilitation centre today. If you have friend or family that is addicted, encourage them to get help as soon as possible.

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