The Costs of Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, and Tobacco in Canada, 2002

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell Street, Room 2035B, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S1, Canada.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs (Impact Factor: 2.76). 12/2007; 68(6):886-95. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2007.68.886
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to estimate costs attributable to substance use and misuse in Canada in 2002.
Based on information about prevalence of exposure and risk relations for more than 80 disease categories, deaths, years of life lost, and hospitalizations attributable to substance use and misuse were estimated. In addition, substance-attributable fractions for criminal justice expenditures were derived. Indirect costs were estimated using a modified human capital approach.
Costs of substance use and misuse totaled almost Can. $40 billion in 2002. The total cost per capita for substance use and misuse was about Can. $1,267: Can. $463 for alcohol, Can. $262 for illegal drugs, and Can. $541 for tobacco. Legal substances accounted for the vast majority of these costs (tobacco: almost 43% of total costs; alcohol: 37%). Indirect costs or productivity losses were the largest cost category (61%), followed by health care (22%) and law enforcement costs (14%). More than 40,000 people died in Canada in 2002 because of substance use and misuse: 37,209 deaths were attributable to tobacco, 4,258 were attributable to alcohol, and 1,695 were attributable to illegal drugs. A total of about 3.8 million hospital days were attributable to substance use and misuse, again mainly to tobacco.
Substance use and misuse imposes a considerable economic toll on Canadian society and requires more preventive efforts.

1 Follower
21 Reads
  • Source
    • "Alcohol and drug use may both have acute and long term consequences for the workplace. It is well known that such use and/or hangover effects may cause an increased risk for accidents, faults, inefficiency, and absence from work [1-4], all undesired effects. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Working under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol may affect safety and job performance. However, the size of this possible problem among health professionals (HPs) is unknown. The aim of this study was threefold: (i) to analyze samples of oral fluid and self-reported data from questionnaires to investigate the prevalence of alcohol and drugs among a sample of HPs in Norway, (ii) to study self-reported absence from or impairment at work due to alcohol and/or drug use, and (iii) to examine whether such use and absence/impairment due to such use depend on socio-demographic variables. A total of 916 of the 933 invited HPs from hospitals and pharmacies participated in the study (participation rate = 98.2%), and 81.1% were women. Associations were analyzed in bi-variate cross tables with Chi-square statistics to assess statistical significance. Alcohol was not detected in any of the samples. Ethyl glucuronide, a specific alcohol metabolite, was found in 0.3% of the collected samples. Illicit drugs and medicinal drugs were identified in 0.6% and 7.3% of the samples, respectively. Both analytical results and self-reported use of alcohol and drugs during the past 12 months indicate that recent and past year alcohol and drug use was lower among HPs than among workers in other business areas in Norway, Europe and US. Nevertheless, several HPs reported absence from work due to alcohol (0.9%) and medicinal drug use (0.8%) during the past 12 months. A substantial part (16.7%) of the self-reported medicinal drug users reported absence from work because of use of medicinal drugs during the past 12 months, and more than 1/4 of those reported in-efficiency at work because of the use of medicinal drugs during the past 12 months. Reduced efficiency at work due to alcohol use during the past 12 months was reported by 12.2%. This sample of HPs seldom used illicit drugs, few had a high level of alcohol consumption, and few tested positive for medicinal drugs. Absence or hangover related to the use of medicinal drugs or alcohol appeared to be a bigger issue than the acute intoxication or the use of illicit drugs.
    Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 03/2014; 9(1):8. DOI:10.1186/1745-6673-9-8 · 1.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Differences in types of societal costs that were included in the four investigated cost-of-illness studies were observed. All studies included public order and safety costs and work-related (productivity) costs, and all but one study did include drink-driving costs [10,12]. Productivity costs were estimated using the 'human capital' approach. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alcohol abuse results in problems on various levels in society. In terms of health, alcohol abuse is not only an important risk factor for chronic disease, but it is also related to injuries. Social harms which can be related to drinking include interpersonal problems, work problems, violent and other crimes. The scope of societal costs related to alcohol abuse in principle should be the same for both economic evaluations and cost-of-illness studies. In general, economic evaluations report a small part of all societal costs. To determine the cost- effectiveness of an intervention it is necessary that all costs and benefits are included. The purpose of this study is to describe and quantify the difference in societal costs incorporated in economic evaluations and cost-of-illness studies on alcohol abuse. To investigate the economic costs attributable to alcohol in cost-of-illness studies we used the results of a recent systematic review (June 2009). We performed a PubMed search to identify economic evaluations on alcohol interventions. Only economic evaluations in which two or more interventions were compared from a societal perspective were included. The proportion of health care costs and the proportion of societal costs were estimated in both type of studies. The proportion of healthcare costs in cost-of-illness studies was 17% and the proportion of societal costs 83%. In economic evaluations, the proportion of healthcare costs was 57%, and the proportion of societal costs was 43%. The costs included in economic evaluations performed from a societal perspective do not correspond with those included in cost-of-illness studies. Economic evaluations on alcohol abuse underreport true societal cost of alcohol abuse. When considering implementation of alcohol abuse interventions, policy makers should take into account that economic evaluations from the societal perspective might underestimate the total effects and costs of interventions.
    Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 07/2010; 8(1):15. DOI:10.1186/1478-7547-8-15 · 0.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "At a societal level, there are associated costs to public health and health care as well as to the welfare and criminal justice systems in dealing with these risk and harm phenomena. In Canada, illicit drug use costs in 2002 were estimated at $40 billion or $1,267 per capita with the three highest contributors being loss of productivity, direct health care and law enforcement [10]. In 1996, Vancouver's Medical Health Officer reported that the increase in injection drug use seen in Vancouver was resulting in an increased incidence of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis, increased hospital and emergency service utilization for treatment of HIV-related diseases, septicaemia and endocarditis, as well as increased ambulance responses and emergency room visits related to drug overdoses. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Opioid addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease and remains a major public health challenge. Despite important expansions of access to conventional treatments, there are still significant proportions of affected individuals who remain outside the reach of the current treatment system and who contribute disproportionately to health care and criminal justice costs as well as to public disorder associated with drug addiction.The NAOMI study is a Phase III randomized clinical trial comparing injectable heroin maintenance to oral methadone. The study has ethics board approval at its Montréal and Vancouver sites, as well as from the University of Toronto, the New York Academy of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University.The main objective of the NAOMI Study is to determine whether the closely supervised provision of injectable, pharmaceutical-grade opioid agonist is more effective than methadone alone in recruiting, retaining, and benefiting chronic, opioid-dependent, injection drug users who are resistant to current standard treatment options. The case study submitted chronicles the challenges of getting a heroin assisted treatment trial up and running in North America. It describes: a brief background on opioid addiction; current standard therapies for opioid addiction; why there is/was a need for a heroin assisted treatment trial; a description of heroin assisted treatment; the beginnings of creating the NAOMI study in North America; what is the NAOMI study; the science and politics of the NAOMI study; getting NAOMI started in Canada; various requirements and restrictions in getting the study up and running; recruitment into the study; working with the media; a status report on the study; and a brief conclusion from the authors' perspectives. As this is a case study, there are no specific results or main findings listed. The case study focuses on: the background of the study; what it took to get the study started in Canada; the unique requirements and conditions of getting a site, and the study, approved; working with the media; recruitment into the study; a brief status report on the study; and a brief conclusion from the authors' perspectives. registration number: NCT00175357.
    Harm Reduction Journal 02/2009; 6(2):2. DOI:10.1186/1477-7517-6-2 · 1.26 Impact Factor
Show more