Washington's Substance Abuse Costs Billions.
The cost of untreated alcohol and drug abuse in Washington state
totaled an estimated $2.54 billion in 1996, according to a recent report
by the Center for Substance Abuse Research. This is a substantial
increase over the 1990 estimate of $1.81 billion. The Washington State
Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse reported that the majority of
these costs stemmed from substance abuse-related premature mortality
($929 million), crime ($541 million) and morbidity ($369 million).
Approximately $160 million was spent to provide treatment. The report
concluded that alcohol abuse accounted for approximately 59 percent of
the total costs and other drugs for the remaining 41 percent.