Drug abuse and addiction can come with a steep financial cost which may be why it’s common to wonder about the cost of drugs sold on the street.
If you believe a loved one is buying and using drugs, the information below might help you understand how much money they’re spending.
Cost Of Illegal Drugs
Illegal (illicit) street drugs are sold throughout the United States. Unlike medications, illicit drugs are not regulated by the FDA, so the cost can vary greatly from one place to the next.
Other factors that may affect how much illicit drugs cost include:
- the type of drug
- the measurement of the drug (ounce, gram, etc.)
- supply and demand
Illegal drugs sold on the street and their corresponding street dose prices include the following.
Learn more about the cost of illicit drugs sold on the street
Cost Of Legal Drugs On The Street
Legal drugs are sold illegally all over the United States and may be sold by:
- people who have unused prescriptions
- people who steal other people’s prescriptions and divert them for recreational use
- drug dealers who move these prescriptions in areas with high demand
As with illicit drugs, the cost of prescription drugs sold on the street can vary greatly by location, supply and demand, and other factors.
Learn more about the cost of prescription drugs sold on the street
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Opiate Prescription Prices
This group includes the deadly opioid fentanyl, as well as less potent forms of opioids used to treat severe to chronic pain, such as Vicodin (hydrocodone) and OxyContin (oxycodone).
Prices of opioids on the street vary by the drug and the dosage. Common prices for some of these opioids per pill (unless otherwise noted) include the following.
Benzodiazepine Prescription Prices
“Benzos” are highly sought on the illicit drug market for their depressant effects.
Common prices for benzodiazepine pills sold on the street include the following.
Amphetamine Street Prices
Amphetamines are commonly used to treat the behavioral disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), among others.
Street prices for amphetamines per pill are as follows on average.
Other Prescription Drug Street Prices
A vast number of prescription medications are sold on the streets for recreational use.
Some of the most common prescription drug prices per pill on the illicit market include the following.
How Drugs Are Sold: Measurements For Street Drugs
One of the primary factors that can influence the cost of drugs is how they are sold.
The way that drugs are sold may vary based on: the type of drug, average street pricing, formulation, or the preference of the dealer.
One-Eighth Of An Ounce
An eighth of an ounce, also known as an 8-ball, is a common measurement used to describe quantities of drugs like marijuana (weed) or cocaine. An eight-ball is about 3.5 grams.
By The Quarter-Ounce
Street drugs can also be sold by the quarter, or by the quarter-ounce. How far this will get you will depend on the type of drug and your usual dosage.
For instance, a quarter-ounce of weed—or seven grams—can be used to roll 14 joints at half a gram per joint.
Powder drugs like cocaine and heroin may be sold in small baggies. Plastic baggies are even considered an example of drug paraphernalia, which a roommate or loved one can identify.
The cost of drugs sold by the bag will depend on the average weight and the type of drug. For instance, a “baggie” of heroin may cost about $5 to $10.
Prescription drugs that are resold on the street—as well as party drugs like MDMA—may be sold in single doses for a single event.
A single dose, or a hit, will be less expensive than buying a bottle of pills, buying by gram, or buying by ounce—depending on the type of drug and the typical dosage.
Drug Abuse And Addiction
The use of illicit drugs like cocaine, or the abuse of prescription drugs, can be a sign of drug abuse.
Many drugs commonly sold on the street can become addictive with frequent misuse. This can affect your health, livelihood, and have a steep financial cost.
Drug addiction can also be deadly. More than 109,000 people in the United States died of a drug overdose in 2022, devastating the lives of individuals and families.
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- ABC 11 Eyewitness News—‘We treat it just like a meth lab:’ Vice unit talks busting large Wake Forest drug operation
- Australian Institute of Criminology - Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice
- Columbia Peace - U.S. Cocaine Retail Prices (Street Prices), Dollars Per Gram
- Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP)—Drug Control Division
- Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety - Scoring the best deal: Quantity discounts and street price variation of diverted oxycodone and oxymorphone
- Sacramento County Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—Methamphetamine Trends in the Probation Department
- Save on Cannabis—How Much Does Weed Cost? Cannabis Price Guide 2021
- Seattle Times—Meth makes a comeback and it’s purer, cheaper and much more lethal
- STAT---New on the streets: Gabapentin, a drug for nerve pain, and a new target of misuse
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- The Journal of Pain—Street prices of prescription opioids diverted to the illicit market: data from a national surveillance program
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- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)—Drug and Chemical Information
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)—Retail and wholesale drug prices
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)—Heroin and cocaine prices in Europe and USA
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)—World Drug Report 2020 (Book 3: Drug Supply)
- Willamette Week - What's the Street Value of the Extra Painkillers in my Prescription?