So, how much do addictions cost us?

…studies compiled by various government health agencies show that the five most-chronicled “hard” addictions — alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling and eating disorders — are what society truly pays for. Those maladies cost taxpayers and businesses $590 billion annually, primarily in lost productivity and government-assisted medical treatment. That’s about 5% of the national debt. And it doesn’t count the sometimes bankrupting amounts of money those people personally spend on drugs, liquor, cigarettes or at the craps tables. Economically, those purchases are treated as pure transfer payments, no different than any other form of shopping….

Now, if those issues cost that much, why do you suppose the government puts up with it?  How much do your figure the politicians are raking in from the people who sell this stuff, one way or another?
The 5 most expensive addictions – MSN Money

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