Novus Medical Detox Says Illicit Drug Use Affects Economy – Drug Incarceration Costs U.S. $193 Billion Annually

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Florida-based detox center Novus Medical Detox suggests the use of treatment programs instead of prison sentences as the best means of ending drug abuse in the U.S., as well as reducing the costs of incarceration.

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The reach of drug abuse is broad and punishing a drug user with prison time not only affects that individual, but it also has far-reaching effects on loved ones, as well as the pockets of taxpayers.

According to the World Bank, at least 75 percent of expenditures on drugs in the US go toward apprehending and punishing dealers and users; treatment expenditures only account for, at most, one-sixth of the total (1). Despite the fact that rehabilitation programs have proven to be more affordable and effective in curbing drug use, law enforcement continues to sentence drug users to incarceration as the only form of prohibition. Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, says substance abuse programs, rather than punishment, are the most economical means of decreasing drug use and its inherent consequences.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 97,472 citizens were incarcerated for drug crimes in 2010 (2), despite the fact that in states where drug possession is charged as a misdemeanor, people are more likely to get treatment and less likely to use illegal drugs (3). Studies also show that treatment transcends incarceration when costs are considered: the average cost of one year of treatment costs about $4,700 per patient, whereas one full year of imprisonment costs taxpayers nearly four times that amount (4). The total economic cost of drug abuse in the United States was estimated at $193 billion in 2007, which included:

•$120 billion in lost productivity, mainly due to labor participation costs, participation in drug abuse treatment, incarceration, and premature death;
•$11 billion in healthcare costs – for drug treatment and drug‐related medical consequences; and
•$61 billion in criminal justice costs, primarily due to criminal investigation, prosecution and incarceration, and victim costs (5).

Novus Executive Director, Kent Runyon, states that not only are safe and effective detox and rehab centers critical in stopping the growth of drug abuse and lessening the strain on taxpayers’ pockets, they are the most workable and dependable long-term option for anyone struggling with addiction. Runyon continued to say that as shocking as the facts are, they also fail to fully demonstrate the harshness of drug abuse on American society – the hidden costs of drug abuse, including family disintegration, loss of employment, domestic violence and child abuse, are largely underscored.

“The reach of drug abuse is broad and punishing a drug user with prison time not only affects that individual, but it also has far-reaching effects on loved ones, as well as the pockets of taxpayers,” said Runyon. “Sentencing those struggling with addiction to lengthy prison terms does nothing to reduce illicit drug use – it also fails to help people address the source of their addiction which is a critical element in returning to a sober lifestyle.”

Runyon maintains that individuals afflicted with addiction are no longer predominantly “street people” or “hardcore addicts”, but were once contributing members of society who unwittingly became addicted after being prescribed medications following surgeries or injuries. Treatment, per Runyon, is not only the most critical step in recovery, but it is also the most difficult.

Because the detox process has historically been a universal system which few were able to tough out, Novus opened its doors with the purpose of fixing the detox process to ensure that anyone could overcome addiction comfortably. Novus instituted a proprietary I.V. vitamin cocktail that is tailored to each individual’s needs to replenish nutrients lost during drug abuse, thereby allowing the facility to treat high-dose patients with minimal pain. By paying particular attention to strengthening patients’ bodies during the detox process via proprietary medical protocols, medical staff members at Novus say that this aspect is the difference between detox being “too painful to confront” and people successfully getting their lives back.

In a recent article in Alcoholism Drug Abuse Weekly, Novus stated that the facility uses state-of-the-art medical detoxification protocols, but also incorporates its own compound of supplements. “It is the holistic approaches and comfortable environment that set us apart,” Runyon said.

Novus advises those who are dependent on any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.

To learn more about the Novus Medical Detox center and its addiction and detox programs, visit

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, television, DVD player and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit

1.Berman, Jillian. "Drug Prohibition Costs The U.S. $40 Billion Each Year." The Huffington Post, 07 June 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

2.Sledge, Matt. "The Drug War And Mass Incarceration By The Numbers." The Huffington Post, 08 Apr. 2013. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

3.Knafo, Saki. “California Bill Would Give Drug Users Treatment Instead Of Prison Time.” Huffington Post, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.

4."Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says." National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

5."How Illicit Drug Use Affects Business and the Economy." The White House, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

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