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Most expensive addictive drugs

An expensive addictive drug is defined as a substance that incurs substantial costs over a prolonged period due to addiction. According to a study by the American Addiction Centers in 2018, heroin, oxycodone, and cocaine are ranked as the top three most expensive addictive substances, each costing more than a million dollars to support over 50 years. The following is a list of the most expensive drugs that are notorious for their addictive properties:

What are the most expensive addictive drugs? 

  1. Opioids:$150 – $200 per gram  and up to 500$ per prescription
  2. Stimulants:cocaine $100 to $500 per gram
  3. Benzodiazepines:  $20 to $150 per prescription
  4. Sedatives and Hypnotics:  $20 to $200 per prescription

1. Opioids

Opioids are among the most exorbitant drugs, with prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone costing up to $500 per prescription, while illicit opioids like heroin lead to even higher expenditures due to addiction treatment and healthcare utilization. 

According to, oxycodone is one of the most extravagant addictive substances, with the average five-year cost for using oxycodone 10 times a day being around $1.75 million. The average cost of heroin is around $15 to $20 per 0.1 gram, and the cost of using heroin at a rate of 10 times a day for 5 years is estimated to be around $318,500.

2. Stimulants:

Stimulant drugs like cocaine and prescription medications for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are associated with addiction and substantial healthcare costs. The misuse of stimulants engenders tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and long-term health consequences, necessitating interventions for addiction management.

Stimulant drugs like cocaine and prescription ADHD medications have varying costs, with cocaine expenses ranging from $100 to $500 per gram on the illicit market, and ADHD medications costing up to $300 per month, depending on the specific drug and dosage.

    3. Benzodiazepines:

    Benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders, are known for their addictive potential and high costs. 

    Drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan cause physical and psychological dependence, contributing to healthcare challenges related to addiction treatment and overdose prevention. 

    Benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium cost anywhere from $20 to $150 per prescription, contributing to substantial healthcare costs for addiction management, overdose treatment, and related medical services.

    4. Sedatives and Hypnotics:

    Sedative-hypnotic drugs, such as barbiturates and nonbenzodiazepine sleep aids, pose risks of addiction and adverse effects. These medications, often prescribed for insomnia and anxiety, result in dependency, overdose, and healthcare utilization for addiction-related complications.

    Sedative-hypnotic medications like Ambien and Lunesta cost between $20 to $200 per prescription, with long-term use accelerating increased expenses for addiction treatment, medical monitoring, and adverse event management.

    Struggling with a drug Problem? We can help you! 

    Addiction to drugs feels like a never-ending battle, but you don’t have to fight it alone. Reach out to us for compassionate and professional addiction treatment. We’re here to help you reclaim your life. Contact us today for the support you need to start your journey toward recovery.

    Rubicon Recovery Center
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    The Rubicon Editorial Team is a collective of seasoned professionals from The Rubicon, a renowned drug and alcohol treatment center. Comprising addiction counselors, medical experts, therapists, and recovery specialists, our team brings a wealth of diverse experience and compassionate insight to our blog. We are dedicated to providing valuable, research-backed information and practical advice to support individuals on their journey to recovery. Our articles aim to educate, inspire, and empower those affected by addiction, offering a beacon of hope and guidance through the complexities of rehabilitation and wellness.

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