How much does an Addiction Cost?

How much does an Addiction Cost?

By Lucasgaio | Cryptoscience | 3 Sep 2021

People who smoke are often told that with the money spent on cigarettes they could have bought a Ferrari.


In this study we will see why this is not true, a Ferrari is sometimes too little! Beyond the jokes, have you ever wondered how much an addiction costs? An addiction is an alteration of behavior that leads to the pathological pursuit of pleasure through means, substances or behaviors. Those who suffer from it lose the ability to exercise control over behavior, often leading to irreparable damage. From an economic point of view, to depend on a substance such as smoke, drugs or alcohol has three types of costs:

  • Monetary cost

  • Healthcare cost

  • Cost in terms of opportunities

Let's see in detail the various costs. The first is linked to the actual expense that is faced daily to buy the product you are addicted to and can be summed up only by investing money. The health cost, on the other hand, is borne by the national health system and includes the expenses that are incurred to pay for the drugs and doctors who provide their service when complications related to addiction arise. Finally, the last cost for those who are addicted is related to the lack of investment opportunity of all that money in the markets. Being able to quantify the monetary cost and that in terms of opportunities is my aim in this analysis. In particular, once I have quantified the expense that a person faces to buy the object of his pleasure, I will theorize a hypothetical investment in Bitcoin to see how much the opportunity he loses is.



It is not easy to quantify the expenditure over a certain period of time, but I have tried to do it anyway. Therefore, it is appropriate to make the following premises:

  • The time horizon over which I made the estimate is one year.

  • The three addictions considered are alcohol, smoking (cigarettes) and drugs (Methamphetamine - Meth).

  • I theorized an investment in Bitcoin (BTC) with a monthly accumulation plan for 12 months from August 2020 to August 2021.

As a spreadsheet I used Excel for its convenience and, considering an accumulation plan done on the Binance exchange, I used the TradingView BTC/USDT chart.



The prices of the substances under consideration are as follows:

  • Alcohol: $5 per drink purchased at the bar, for 5 drinks per week ($100/month)

  • Smoking: 10 cigarettes per day ($2.50), for a total of $70/month.

  • Meth: 0.3g per day (10mg/dose, $58/gram), for a total of $522/month.

These statistics refer to the average consumption of an adult and the costs of the substances refer to the Italian prices of the current year. For the calculations I took into account the percentage change of the Bitcoin (BTC) asset against the dollar, from the day of the investment to today, adding algebraically the individual monthly results. I did not take into account the healthcare cost but only the missed opportunities, eventually subtracting the initial investment to get the net profit.



Here are the results obtained on the three profiles taken into consideration. The tables show the percentage change of BTC/USDT from the investment month to today (average price $47,000), rounded to the nearest unit. As a starting point for the calculation of this percentage, I considered the average of the monthly candle. The highlighted total represents the sum of net earnings (without the amount invested).




In all three cases taken into consideration, there is a net gain that takes on very high values ​​in the case of drug addiction ($5,240.88). Despite this, it is also worth considering what you would have in the case of smokers ($702.80) as it is a much more widespread and common problem. I remind the reader that the health costs that impact society have not been considered and that in this case the figures would be of a completely different order. The sum of monetary costs was also not considered, which otherwise would have as totals:

  • Alcohol: $2204

  • Smoking: $1542.80

  • Meth: $11504.88

I conclude by saying that the results are simply astounding: who would have believed that investing a small amount consistently could be so profitable?

Too bad that those who use these substances do not care.




Read Also: Top 3 Best Ways to Earn Bitcoin Passive Income

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I am a pharmacist and a scientist.


A blog that speaks about science, a passion that has accompanied me since I was a child. My goal is to spread scientific culture all over the world, starting with cryptocurrencies.

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