About the Exhibit

Most Americans are unaware of the science behind the damaging effects of illegal drugs on the mind and body, or of the other tremendous costs associated with the production, sale and use of illegal drugs. The costs to society—estimated at more than $180 billion a year—are born by all of us in some way. Despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans are not drug users, we pay for users’ lost productivity, their health care, criminal justice costs, child welfare costs, and the impact their drug use has on our own health and safety. This exhibit is designed to open eyes to the science behind illegal drug addiction and the myriad costs of illegal drugs—to individuals, American society and the world—and to provide food for thought on how each and every one of us can make a difference.

Drugs: Costs & Consequences is an exhibit from the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum that began a national tour in 2002. With content specific to each location where it is displayed, the exhibit presents both a global and historical overview of the many costs and consequences of drugs on society.

Drugs: Costs & Consequences begins with an introductory area, then explores the opium and heroin connections in Afghanistan and looks at the global impact of drugs. The exhibit moves to an in-depth look at drug production and trafficking and then presents an overview of the science of addiction and some of the tragic costs and consequences of drugs on our society—costs to the environment, costs to the body and brain, costs to communities, costs to health, and costs to children. Visitors can explore many interactive kiosks and stop by the Discovery Corner for educational take-home literature and other resources.

Development Partners

Drugs: Costs & Consequences was developed in partnership with:

  • The DEA Educational Foundation
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • The Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
  • The Partnership for Drug Free Kids

Drugs: Costs & Consequences

Drugs: Costs & Consequences

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