If your friend or other loved one has a substance use disorder, you may be wondering about the cost of drugs on the black market.
Unlike prescription drugs, street drugs are not regulated by the government, so their selling price will vary substantially.
The financial cost of drug addiction varies based on the type of substance, the amount of the drug, and the form that it’s in.
Cost Of Drugs By Drug Type
Americans spend billions every year on illegal drugs. Not all of these substances are the same, and their price will depend on factors such as location and availability.
Some of the most common drugs sold on the street are stimulants such as cocaine, opioids such as heroin, and “party drugs” i.e. hallucinogens.
There is also a multi-billion dollar market for prescription drugs being sold on the black market. These can include painkillers such as oxycodone (Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin).
Cost Of Illicit Drugs
There are an array of illicit drugs currently sold on the street across the country. The value of the following substances depends on their type, formulation, and purity.
Cost Of Heroin
The cost of heroin varies based on the type of heroin being sold and many other factors. For example, heroin can be in a white or brown power form, or a tar-like substance called black tar heroin.
The street price of heroin is determined by the purity level and can range from $150 to $500 per gram. A single-use, small “baggie” of heroin typically costs between $5 and $20.
People with addictions to heroin can go through 10 or more single-use bags per day.
Cost Of Cocaine
Cocaine (“coke”) or crack cocaine is a stimulant whose purity has decreased over the past few decades while the price has increased dramatically.
The average cost of cocaine in its powder form can range between $60 to $100 per gram. A gram can then be broken into approximately 10 lines or 25 “bumps”.
Crack cocaine, or “crack”, is a crystallized, rock-like version of cocaine. Crack cocaine use usually costs less because it is not as pure and produces an intense but shorter-lasting high.
The cost of crack cocaine can range between $18 and $200 with an average price of $60 per gram.
Methamphetamine, or “meth”, can be snorted in powder form or smoked in crystallized rock form, otherwise known as crystal meth.
Meth is a more powerful stimulant than cocaine and costs slightly less, with the average cost per gram at $20 to $40.
Street Cost Of Marijuana
Although cannabis is legal for limited recreational and medical use in many states, there are still areas of the United States where it’s illegally sold.
Marijuana, also known as “pot” or “weed”, is typically bought in the form of marijuana cigarettes (“joints”), “edibles” to be eaten, or ounce bags.
Currently, the average cost per ounce of cannabis is between $100 to $200, depending on the potency of the strain.
Cost Of PCP
The hallucinogen phencyclidine (PCP), also known as “angel dust”, is an illicit party drug commonly sold in liquid, powder, or tablet form.
Liquid-form PCP can cost up to $300 per ounce, whereas a gram of powder can cost $20 to $30. A tablet of PCP typically ranges from $5 to $15.
Street Cost Of Ketamine
Ketamine is an antidepressant and pain reliever that has become popular as a recreational drug. The price of Ketamine, or “Special K”, currently sits at around $25 per dose.
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as molly or ecstasy is a hallucinogenic drug that has gained notoriety from its common usage in parties and raves.
The street price of MDMA differs significantly due to supply and demand. The cost may range between $1 per tablet to $80 depending on the potency.
Cost Of LSD
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a powerful hallucinogenic that is typically ingested as a dissolvable “tab”. The street price of LSD is around $5 per tab.
Cost Of Prescription Drugs On The Street
Prescription drugs are also sold on the street particularly in areas where demand is high. Legal drugs are sold by dealers, people with unused prescriptions, and people who steal prescriptions from others.
Street Prices Of Prescription Opioids
Opiates are some of the most common prescription drugs sold on the black market, and they accounted for over 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2019.
Common cost of opioid medications when sold on the street illegally:
- street price of meperidine (Demerol): $2.50-$6 per dose
- street price of morphine: may range between $5-50 per gram
- street price of tramadol (Ultram): between $1 and $5 per pill
- street price of oxycodone (Oxycontin): as low as $3 and as high as $80, depending on the strength
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid) street cost: ranges between $2 to $150 per pill
- street price of Hydrocodone (Vicodin): estimated between $6 to $8 per pill
- cost of fentanyl on the street: $25 to $50 per pill
Street Cost Of Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines, also known by their slang term “benzos”, are a class of drugs designed to treat insomnia, anxiety, and panic attacks.
The average street cost of benzodiazepines:
- the street price for alprazolam (Xanax): around $2 to $20 per tablet
- Valium (diazepam) sells on the street for: $2 to $7 per pill
- street cost of Ativan (lorazepam): $5 for individual 2-mg tablets
- the street price for Klonopin (clonazepam): $4 per 2-mg pill
Cost Of Amphetamines On The Street
Amphetamines are usually prescribed to treat conditions such as ADHD or narcolepsy. They are a stimulant, commonly referred to as “uppers” on the street.
Amphetamines frequently sold illegally:
- the cost of Ritalin: $1 per pill
- street price for Adderall: $3 to $15 per tablet
- Vyvanse cost on the street: $3 to $30, depending on where they’re sold
Street Prices Of Various Prescription Medications
Many prescription medications are sold illegally on the street, whether for the purpose of drug abuse or other reasons.
Some prescription medications commonly sold on the street and their prices include:
- gabapentin street price: $2 to $5 per pill
- street price of Ambien: ranges from $2 to $20 per pill
- street cost of trazodone: varies drastically, but usually at or below $20
- street price of Zoloft: less than $1 per tablet
- cost of zopiclone (Imovane) sold on the street: up to $1 per pill
- bupropion (Wellbutrin) street cost: $1 to $5 per 100-mg tablet
- price of Flexeril sold on the street: $1 to $10 for a 5-mg or 10-mg dose
Many factors can affect the street cost of prescription medications. These can include the region where the drug is being sold, local demand and supply, and more.
How Is The Street Price Of Drugs Determined?
The street price of drugs, both prescription and illicit, is determined by a wide range of factors.
Factors that affect the street price of the drug market include:
- strength and dosage
- types of drugs
- supply and demand
- geographic location
- the process of acquiring the substance
Drug trade prices are constantly changing due to public health laws, law enforcement, and economic factors.
Find The Right Addiction Treatment Program For Substance Abuse
If you or someone you care about are addicted to prescription or illicit drugs, treatment programs are available throughout the United States.
Contact our helpline for more information on drug use detox options and treatment providers in your area.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Drug Overdose https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/index.html
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Misuse of Prescription Drugs Research Report https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/overview
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Data and Dissemination https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) — World Drug Report 2021 https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/wdr2021.html