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How Much is a Gram of Heroin? The High Price of Addiction

According to the US Department of Justice, the cost of heroin has declined significantly over the past few years. From an average of $2,000 per pure gram of heroin between 1979 and 1988 to the current estimated price of $500 per pure gram of heroin. That nearly a 75 percent decrease. Lower cost of heroin makes the illicit drug more affordable for new users and thus threaten to expand the user base. And the cost of heroin continues to fall with the introduction of new and more powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Compared to cocaine, however, heroin appears to have fewer but more geographically concentrated retail sellers. In measuring the availability of heroin to street buyers, the effective price is important to consider. The street price for heroin involves several factors: dollar price, the likelihood of arrest or mugging during a transaction, uncertainty about drug quality, risk of overdose, and search time required to locate a willing seller.

It’s not uncommon for a person who abuse heroin to struggle with the financial costs of addiction. Heroin addiction is a disease that takes control of your life. As your physical dependency on heroin develops, your mind may be stuck in a never-ending loop, thinking about your next fix. This can make it difficult for a person to prioritize their finances and stay away from heroin. There are several reasons why heroin addiction and money problems go hand in hand.

Heroin addiction has a lot of costs, including friends, family, and future career goals. But what about the financial effects of heroin addiction? The price of heroin may have declined but still it is not cheap. Some people may find that they’re spending hundreds each day on the drugs to fuel their addiction, if not more. Along with the social and emotional costs of addiction, heroin addiction takes a toll on the user’s finances. Financing an addiction has direct monetary costs and a loss of future wages if the behavior impacts the user’s career prospects.

The Cost of Heroin Addiction

Globally, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes or UNODC estimates that between 155 and 250 million people, or 3.5% to 5.7% of the population aged 15-64, had used illicit substances at least once in the previous year. Cannabis users comprise the largest number of illicit drug users (129-190 million people). Amphetamine-type stimulants are the second most commonly used illicit drugs, followed by opiates such as heroin. However, in terms of harm associated with use, opiates would be ranked at the top.

Heroin costs money. Although this may be common knowledge, people may only think of the short-term costs of heroin as their dependency develops. They may not consider the accumulated cost until they have a tight financial situation. People don’t usually plan for these future money problems because they don’t usually plan on becoming addicted. Heroin addiction is a long-term disease that intensifies over time. The longer the person’s heroin problem persists, the more tolerance they’ll develop and the more heroin they’ll use. Because that person will always require more heroin to experience the same effects, the amount of money they spend on heroin addiction will continuously increase.

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Heroin Addiction Statistics

In 2020, heroin-involved overdose death rates decreased by nearly 7% 2019 to 2020. However, more than 13,000 people died from a drug overdose involving heroin in the United States, a rate of more than four deaths for every 100,000 Americans. The number of heroin-involved overdose deaths was nearly seven times higher in 2020 than in 1999. Almost 20% of all opioid deaths involved heroin.


626,000 Americans

Roughly 626,000 Americans had a heroin addiction in 2016

Source: NIDA

50 to 60 percent

When someone uses heroin, they have a 50 to 60 percent chance of developing an addiction.

Source: NIDA

13,000

More than 13,000 people died from a drug overdose involving heroin in the United States.

Source: CDC


Heroin Drug Fact Sheet

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin can be a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin.


How Do People Use Heroin?

People inject, sniff, snort, or smoke heroin. Some people mix heroin with crack cocaine, a practice called speedballing.


What are the Effects of Heroin?

Heroin enters the brain rapidly and binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure and in controlling heart rate, sleeping, and breathing.

Short-Term Effects

People who use heroin report feeling a “rush” (a surge of pleasure or euphoria). However, there are other common effects, including:

  • dry mouth
  • warm flushing of the skin
  • heavy feeling in the arms and legs
  • nausea and vomiting

Long-Term Effects

People who use heroin over the long term may develop the following:

  • insomnia
  • collapsed veins for people who inject the drug
  • damaged tissue inside the nose for people who sniff or snort it
  • infection of the heart lining and valves
  • abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
  • constipation and stomach cramping
  • liver and kidney disease

How Expensive is Heroin?

The cost of Heroin continues to drop while potency levels rise. Black Tar Heroin and Powder Heroin continue to be cut with a range of harmful products to increase drug trafficking organizations’ profits. A “baggie” (or small, single-use bag) of Heroin typically costs between $5 and $20. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported the average price of Heroin in the US was $152 per gram (which is usually divided into 20 bags).

Those with a severe opioid use disorder have described purchasing 10 to 15 bags of the drug per day. Following this model of use, a person would spend between $438 and $1,750 per week and between $22,810 and $91,250 per year on the drugs, depending on heroin street prices.

Although the direct costs of heroin abuse may be clear, there are other ways heroin addiction can indirectly cause financial problems. The physical effects of hroin abuse often prevent users from completing basic tasks. Responsibilities like going to work, paying the bills, or taking care of the children could all fall through the cracks when a person’s thoughts are focused on their next fix.

If the person goes to work under the influence of heroin, they may struggle to fulfill their obligations and cause problems for the company. They could lose their job and struggle to support themselves and their family. Even if this does happen, they will most likely continue to use heroin and spend money on their addiction.

How much is a gram of heroin? Heroin costs vary depending on factors like purity, type, and availability.
How much is a gram of heroin? Heroin costs vary depending on factors like purity, type, and availability.
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How Much Does a Gram of Heroin Cost Compared to the Price of Prescription Opioids?

Prescription opioid use has risen in the U.S. over the past decade, including both legitimate and illicit abuse. As a result, prescription opioids have flooded the market, leading to dependencies and addictions in people you would never suspect of developing a drug problem. Many people start out taking prescription opioids because they’re prescribed to them following surgery or an injury or for chronic pain, and they become addicted.

When that occurs, these people often move to heroin for many reasons, primarily because heroin is cheap and accessible. So how much is a gram of heroin worth, and why is it so cheap? In response to the growing opioid epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) outlined new clinical practice guidelines for prescribers to reduce the number of people who misuse or overdose on these drugs.

Black-market drugs command the following prices:

  • Percocet: up to $40 per pill for 10 mg
  • OxyContin: up to $80 per pill for 20 mg
  • Vicodin: up to $10 per pill for 10 mg
  • Dilaudid: up to $25 per pill for 8 mg

Based on these values, an individual with an opioid tolerance may spend $200 or more each day on painkillers, which comes out to about $73,000 per year. As an alternative, some users may opt for heroin. However, tolerance for heroin develops quickly, so users may find themselves spending as much or more than they would on prescription opioids.

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How much is a gram of heroin? The price of heroin is determined by a range of factors including purity, formulation, as well as the amount of the drug being sold.
How much is a gram of heroin? The price of heroin is determined by a range of factors including purity, formulation, as well as the amount of the drug being sold.

Heroin Street Price

The price of heroin depends on some different factors. First, the type of heroin, as well as the overall availability on the streets, and also how the heroin is processed and cut. The purer the heroin, generally the more expensive, but it’s not hard to sell something and say it’s pure, and then it’s laced with other substances.

A Bag of Heroin Price

A single-use bag, or “baggie”, of heroin can cost anywhere between $5 and $20. People with severe addictions to heroin can go through 10 to 15 bags per day.

A Gram of Heroin Price

In the United States, a typical gram of heroin costs around $150. This can be cut up to 20 times and sold as individual-use baggies. Currently, a gram of top-quality heroin can sell for up to $500 on the black market.

A Kilogram of Heroin Price

How much does a kilo of heroin cost? The wholesale price of a kilo of black tar heroin in the U.S. ranges between $10,000 to $100,000.

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Black Tar Heroin Price

There are three main types of heroin: white powder heroin, brown powder heroin, and black tar heroin. White powder heroin tends to cost the most, while black tar heroin tends to cost the least. That’s because black tar heroin is the least pure.

In November of 2020, the U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate Highway 35 checkpoint defeated an attempt to smuggle black tar heroin north of Laredo. They had a total weight of 45.68 pounds with an approximate street value of $3,920,224. Based on this report by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the cost of black tar heroin is approximately $190 per gram.

Studies report that 80% of people addicted to Heroin once started by using a prescription Opioid. After they’ve grown addicted and their prescription has run out, many purchase the drug illicitly. After desperation sets in, they will turn to Heroin, a cheaper and more potent alternative. Black Tar Heroin is generally relatively cheap and easy to locate in the Central and Western United States.

How much is a gram of heroin? Prices will fluctuate depending on purity, supply and demand, and the type of heroin.
How much is a gram of heroin? Prices will fluctuate depending on purity, supply and demand, and the type of heroin.

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Heroin Addiction Treatment Near Me

Heroin addiction is a chronic disease and should be treated like other chronic diseases. Like those, it should constantly be monitored and managed. Heroin is a type of opioid. Opioid addiction treatment is different for each individual. The main purpose of opioid addiction treatment is to help the person stop using the drug. Opioid addiction treatment can also help the person avoid using it again.

The body goes through specific symptom stages known as the opiate withdrawal. The opiate withdrawal timeline varies from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the type of opioid used, how long it was used, and any other substances that may have been used in conjunction with opioids. Medically managed withdrawal opiate detox ensures the individual remains safe and stays as comfortable as possible.

Heroin Detox Treatment

The first step in treatment is medical detox. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to heroin addiction. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

Heroin Withdrawal Treatment Inpatient 

There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient drug rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug or alcohol use. the goal is to help the person stop using drugs like heroin. Drug and alcohol rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.

Most people benefit from inpatient rehab after a full medical detox from drugs and alcohol. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare program, including continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Psychotherapy

Many rehab programs will also have early morning classes or programs. Group sessions occur during inpatient rehab, as do individual therapy sessions. Family therapy may be part of inpatient rehab when it’s feasible. Alternative forms of therapy may be introduced during inpatient rehab, like a holistic therapy programyoga for addiction recovery, or addiction treatment massage therapy.

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution-focused therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.

How much is a gram of heroin?  In New York City, most people pay about $10 for a bag of heroin
How much is a gram of heroin? In New York City, most people pay about $10 for a bag of heroin

Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our opioid addiction treatment program medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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