Methamphetamine costs Colorado $1.4 billion a year, incuding lost productivity at work, and the cost of drug treatment and hospital care, social services and criminal justice intervention, says a new official estimate reported by the Rocky Mountain News. Attorney General John Suthers is trying to extend the life of the state’s 27-member Methamphetamine Task Force, which he chairs, for another four years.
The task force, launched in 2006 and funded by private foundation dollars, is set to expire next year. It includes legislators, child advocates, public health officials, drug treatment providers, child welfare workers, law enforcement officers, judges, and prosecutors. Suthers said he calculated the Colorado data from a new report by the RAND Drug Policy Research Center that puts the social price tag of methamphetamine abuse in the U.S. at $23.4 billion. In Colorado, the $1.4 billion cost amounts to $73,700 per meth addict. Suthers said the West remains a hot spot for meth because of its proximity to Mexico, where much of the drug supply originates in super labs.