Graphing The War On Drugs

US Drug Addiction Spending

An insightful GIF comparing the level of government spending on the war drugs in America versus the drug addiction rate since the inception of the war on drugs in 1970.


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  1. DeSwiss says:

    Investments never ”fail” when you can print your own money. :-/

    • nubwaxer says:

      the prison for profit industry cannot fail when law enforcement and courts have an interest ti preserve their jobs by supplying the prisoners they need.

      • DeSwiss says:

        Exactly. Which is precisely why DEEPLY cutting police and the court’s budgets and releasing non-violent inmates needs to happen FIRST.

        But because this makes sense and is right, I have no expectation that it will happen. :-/

  2. Peter says:

    As much as I agree with the sentiment that the graph represents, I have to wonder…does it account for inflation of the dollar in the same timeframe? Because if it doesn’t, the amount of spending probably isn’t nearly as jarring.

  3. john onyma says:

    Um.. no, sorry.

    I also agree with the sentiment (war on drugs = costly, ineffective), but the numbers here seem so far off that the message is discredited. Irony would make the point, not go so far as to be discredited.

    The rate of off-prescription painkiller use has skyrocketed in this country… something like 12 million Americans are now on powerful opioids that were not prescribed to them. The DEA is charged with stopping “drug diversion” which is the flow of prescription drugs to the black market (now 12 million consumers??). Seems like a crazy task, and also seems there should be better ways to intervene.

    Deaths related to alcohol use now out number deaths from any other preventable cause…. including car accidents. We had drunk drivers crashing into us, now we also have drugged drivers on Oxycontin crashing into us. What’s going on?

    Today, people feel a need to be sedated or buzzed or high or drunk or “wonked” just to function in social settings, at work, or in order to “have fun” at an event or out with their friends. Sometimes the substances are needed in order to simply tolerate living (living in poverty, living with the abusive spouse, living with the pain of rejection or loss of a loved one, living idle, living sick, or just plain living bored). Sometimes they are needed just to be able to tolerate complexity like this comment.. who can handle all the ifs/ands/buts and this guy going on and on and on…. OMF god! somebody get me a drink!

    We explore these issues ourselves at and it’s not simple, not pretty, and not an easy matter of legalization.

  4. nubwaxer says:

    wasted spending to expand the police state and diminish everyone’s freedom at our cost.

  5. Hub Sch says:

    Surprise surprise – N o t h i n g achieved by Ronald Reagan’s “war on drugs” other than robbing our schools and education budgets to hand it over to crime agencies (or better criminal agencies?) and wasting 100% of every tax dollar spend! This is the land of the free … free of reason, free of sense!?

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