Almost two-thirds of the costs caused by methamphetamine use resulted from the burden of addiction and the estimated 900 premature deaths among users in 2005. The second largest cost category was crime and criminal justice, including the costs of arresting and jailing drug offenders and dealing with non-drug crimes committed by methamphetamine users, such as thefts committed to support their drug habit.
Loss of productivity, the removal of children from their parents’ homes because of methamphetamine use, and drug treatment were among the other factors associated with the economic cost of the drug.
The study cited the production of methamphetamine as another cost category, explaining that producing the drug requires toxic chemicals that can result in fire, explosions and other dangerous events. The resulting costs cover such things as cleaning up the hazardous waste generated by methamphetamine production and injuries suffered by emergency workers and other victims.