Report: Drug and alcohol misuse cost NH over $2.3 billion annually
CONCORD – The head of a nonprofit advocacy organization says that “untreated substance misuse places an enormous burden on our state.”
The report, released Monday morning by the group New Futures, estimates that drug and alcohol misuse cost New Hampshire economy more than $2.36 billion in 2014. That’s equal to $1,780 for every person in the state, and it’s equal to 3.32% of New Hampshire’s annual gross product, according to the report.
“That’s even before we were in the height of the epidemic,” said New Futures President and CEO Linda Saunders Paquette, referring to the data from 2014.
She added that the study “does not include the $604.6 million in costs related to premature deaths - deaths that could have preventable. There is no price we can place on the lives lost and the countless number of Granite Staters impacted by this epidemic thus far.”
The overall $2.36 billion price tag is up from $1.84 billion in 2012.
“By reducing the number of individuals in New Hampshire’s labor force and by decreasing the skills and productivity of individuals who are in the labor force, substance misuse in New Hampshire exacerbates key demographic and human resource issues that contribute to slower economic growth in the state,” the study stated.
The report also highlighted the "tremendous impact" the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, better known as Medicaid Expansion, has had on curbing the overall economic costs associated with substance misuse.