How Much Does It Cost? The Economic Costs of Drug Use in Canada

How Much Does It Cost? The Economic Costs of Drug Use in Canada

In the previous issue, I addressed some of the economic benefits of drug trades, legal and illegal. But the benefits are only part of the story. The harmful use of drugs is an enormous economic liability for Canada. Health economists have devised statistical techniques for estimating these costs to the economy, and the results are shocking.

The Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms (CSUCH) Scientific Working Group’s most recent analysis is with data collected in 2020. The Group estimates…

How Much Does It Cost? The Economic Costs of Drug Use in Canada

Imprudent Decisions: Drug Problems Without Dependence

While dependence is a common type of drug problem, it is not as common as many people might assume. A study from Münster, Germany showed that only about half of alcohol-impaired drivers could be characterised as alcohol dependent. Research done in Toronto Canada found a…

How Much Does It Cost? The Economic Costs of Drug Use in Canada

Drug Dependence

“I don’t have a drinking problem, except when I can’t get a drink.”
       – Tom Waits

In the previous issue, I wrote about some of the history and challenges of collecting information on drug problems from those who attend drug treatment programs, and on what that picture looks like. In this issue, I write about one type of drug problem – dependence. …

How Much Does It Cost? The Economic Costs of Drug Use in Canada

Harms From Drug Use

In the previous issue I described methods that social scientists use to describe the extent and nature of drug use and related harm. In this issue, I’ll report some data on some of those harms related to four separate settings: the general population, the health care system, the workplace, and …

How Much Does It Cost? The Economic Costs of Drug Use in Canada

How Do We Estimate The Amount of Drug-related Harm?

In the previous issue, I discussed ways in which we identify and define a drug problem – sometimes it’s obvious; sometimes it’s not. The grey area poses challenges – not only for clinicians but also for …

How Much Does It Cost? The Economic Costs of Drug Use in Canada

What is a “Drug Problem”?

In the previous issue, I discussed ways in which people use drugs that increase the risk of experiencing some harm from that use. The harm is not a certainty, but its likelihood is increased. In subsequent issues I will discuss the prevalence and types of actual drug harm that…