Here are some stats about addiction. It is important to note that the economic burden of addiction is difficult to assess, due to limited data on the subject and the wide range of factors that are implicated in it. (Public Health England, 2018) Therefore, the statistics and calculations are estimates only.

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  • According to Public Health England (2016) it is estimated that the treatment of addiction and illnesses relating to it costs the NHS £3.5 billion each year.
  • Public Health England (2019) estimates 268,251 people received residential treatment or were in contact with drug and alcohol services
  • It is estimated that this is equal to an average cost of £13,047 per person in treatment fees
  • Kennedy St’s recovery connects programme is designed to help people access recovery in the community; it currently has 15 members, and is growing. Therefore, based on the current estimated cost of treatment per person in England (£13,047) this has the potential to reduce the economic cost to the NHS by an estimated £19,5712 each year
  • Addiction is also shown to be a key factor in unemployment, with as many as 50,000 people claiming benefits due to their addiction (Public Health England, 2018)



  • According to research from Public Health England, UK businesses lose a total of £7.3billion a year in lost productivity due to addiction, that’s an average  cost of £27,213 per employee per year, in small to medium sized businesses
  • Therefore, Kennedy St’s recovery connects programme could potentially save local businesses £408,199 per year
  • Furthermore, evidence from Scotland suggests that businesses lose between £866 million to 106 million per year, in costs related to losses of labour and productivity from alcohol misuse alone (Public Health England, 2018)
  • Research also suggests that there is a positive association between addiction and number of sick days taken, with this increasing by 13% compared to employees without addictions
  • Studies also suggest that problematic drinking is linked to higher rates of anxiety and depression, which may cost businesses up to £1.4 billion per year due to lost productivity
  • Addiction is linked to the reduction of up to 16% of working life per person, due to death and disability



  • According to the latest published government data, drug related crime places a substantial economic burden on the country, with crimes committed by addicts costing over £9.3 billion per year (Black, 2020)
  • Within this overall cost criminal justice services spend £733 million a year (Black, 2020)
  • Furthermore, it is estimated that it costs up to £680 million a year in enforcement costs, including staffing, training, etc. (Black, 2020)
  • A total of 018,278 crimes were committed by people using drugs in 2017
  • Robberies and domestic burglaries made up the largest proportion of these, estimated to be 27% of total crime (Black, 2020)
  • Studies show that those who enter treatment reduce their criminal activity by almost 40% (Black, 2020)
  • This reduction in crime is often maintained for as long as the person stays in contact with drug services or recovery community programmes (Black, 2020)



  • At least 70% of people suffering from addiction overall are in full time employment (Hudson, 2020)
  • 65.7% of people addicted to drugs are employed (UK Addiction Treatment Centres, 2018)
  • 60% of poor job performance is linked to substance use (UK Addiction Treatment Centres, 2018)
  • 40% of industrial accidents are linked to substance use (UK Addiction Treatment Centres, 2018)
  • 24% of workers admitted to drinking during the workday in the past year (Hudson, 2020; UK Addiction Treatment Centres, 2018)
  • 22% of workers admit to making mistakes at work due to having a hangover (UK Addiction Treatment Centres, 2018)
  • 15% of workers admit to being drunk at work at least occasionally (UK Addiction Treatment Centres, 2018)


Black, C. (2020). Review of Drugs – evidence relating to drug use, supply and effects, including current trends and future risks. Retrieved from www.data.parliament.uk

Public Health England. (2016). Adult substance misuse statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring. Retrieved from www.broadwaylodge.org.uk

Public Health England. (2018). The Public Health Burden of Alcohol and the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Policies An evidence review. Retrieved from www.assets.publishing.service.gov.uk

Hudson, H. (2020). The Relationship Between Addiction and Job Problems. Retrieved from www.addictioncenter.com

UK Addiction Treatment Centres. (2018). The Hidden Cost Of Substance Abuse In The US. Retrieved from www.ukat.co.uk