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The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States - 1992

Table 3.1

Consequences Assessed in Cost-of-Illness Analyses

Value of
Goods and Services

Value of
Lost Productivity

Generally Nonquantifiable Costs


  • Specialty drug/alcohol treatment and prevention

  • Support for specialty treatment, including training, research, and insurance administration

  • Health consequences of alcohol and drug abuse, including hospital care, physician services, nursing home care, and pharmaceuticals, or the continuum of services for certain special disease categories such as HIV/ AIDS, fetal alcohol syndrome, drug-exposed infants and boarder babies, hepatitis, and tuberculosis

  • Reduced or lost earnings while impaired or unemployed

  • Lost earnings due to premature death or to institutionalization

  • Pain and suffering

  • Bereavement

  • Psychosocial development impairment among alcohol and drug abusers and their children

  • Familial health

  • Out-of-pocket costs other than deductibles and copays, such as transportation, child care, and other factors associated with health care use.

  • Other (Non-health)

  • Criminal justice system expenses, including protection, adjudication, and corrections

  • Victim expenses

  • Crime-related property destruction

  • Administration of income transfer programs

  • Motor vehicle crashes

  • Fire destruction

  • Lost earnings while crime victims cannot work

  • Lost earnings while criminals are incarcerated

  • Lost legitimate earnings, including lost tax dollars due to "careers of crime"

  • Reduced product quality

  • Secondary market effects

  • Productivity consequences for family members

  • Productivity consequences for coworkers and firms that are not reflected in the earnings of alcohol and drug abusers

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