According to a national survey, over 16 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2019.
This includes people with substance use disorders who have been inappropriately prescribed the drugs, as well as people who buy the medication by illegal means.
The price of prescription drugs on the street is determined by an array of factors including the formulation, type of drug, supply and demand of the substance, and the amount being sold.
Street Price Of Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs found on the street today are divided into categories based on the ingredients used to make them, the purpose for their original prescription, and the physical and psychological effects on the body when taking the drug.
Street Price Of Prescription Opioids
Opioids illicitly sold on the street are some of the most popular drugs on the black market today. These medications are typically prescribed as painkillers and are extremely addictive when misused.
Typical prices of opioids sold on the street:
- oxycodone (Oxycontin) street price: between $12-80 per pill
- hydrocodone (Vicodin) street price: $6-8 per pill
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid) street cost: ranges between $2 to $150 per pill
- average fentanyl street price: around $99 per gram
- cost of morphine on the street: approximately $5 to $50 per gram
- street price of meperidine (Demerol): $2.50 to $6 per dose
- cost of tramadol (Ultram) sold on the street: $1 for a 50mg pill to $5 for a 100mg pill
Street Price Of Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are also referred to by their slang term “benzos”. They are a class of depressants prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Common prices for benzos sold on the street:
- average street cost of Xanax (alprazolam): $2 to $20 per pill
- street cost of Valium (diazepam): $2 to $7 per tablet
- Ativan (lorazepam) street price: $1 per pill
- street price of Klonopin (clonazepam): $2 for a 1mg pill
Street Cost Of Amphetamines
Amphetamines “uppers” are a common stimulant found on the street. These drugs are used to treat behavioral disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and more.
Street prices for prescription amphetamines:
- street cost of Ritalin “speed”: $1 per tablet
- street cost of Adderall: between $3 to $15 per pill
- street price of Vyvanse: $3 to $30
Other Popular Prescription Drugs Sold On The Street
There are several other prescription drugs that are frequently bought on illicit street markets.
Some of these prescription medications include:
- cost of Ambien on the street: $2 to $20 per pill
- price of Gabapentin on the street: $2 to $20 per tablet
- cost of trazodone on the street: typically below $20 per pill
- Wellbutrin (bupropion) street price: $1 to $5 for a 100 mg pill
- cost of Zoloft (sertraline) on the street: $1 or less per tablet
- zopiclone (Imovane) street cost: $1 per pill
- average price of Flexeril on the street: $1 to $10 per pill, depending on the dosage
What Affects The Cost Of Prescription Drugs Sold On The Street?
While some people may buy prescription drugs on illegal markets in the United States because of the affordability, others do it for the euphoric or stimulating side effects of the substance.
Most prescription medications are sold in pill form, lozenges, or syrup-like liquid solutions. These are then measured into smaller “baggies” or bottles and sold on the street.
Factors that determine the value of prescription drugs on the street:
- the demand of the drug and local price increases
- the cost of acquiring the drug
- the strength of the dosage
- the location where it’s being sold
- local law enforcement
- public policy
When illegally sold on the street, prescription drug prices are typically not influenced by whether it’s a generic drug or brand-name drug formulary.
Treatment Services For Prescription Drug Addiction
If you or a loved one are misusing prescription medications and want to seek addiction recovery services, there are several treatment options available
Substance abuse recovery may include services such as:
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for prescription drug addiction
- group, family, and individual counseling
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- inpatient or outpatient treatment
- opioid detox
Along with evidence-based treatment offerings, there are also specialty drugs and experimental vaccine therapies currently in development to assist with prescription drug abuse and addiction recovery.
Oftentimes, health care costs associated with addiction treatment can be covered through private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare health insurance.
Find A Quality Drug Rehab Program Today
Contact the Bedrock Recovery Center helpline today for more information on treatment for prescription drug addiction including detox, residential treatment, and methadone maintenance.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9700324/
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://www.samhsa.gov/data/data-we-collect/nsduh-national-survey-drug-use-and-health
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/opioid-medications