Home > Canadian substance use costs and harms (2007–2014).

Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms Scientific Working Group. [CCSUA] (2018) Canadian substance use costs and harms (2007–2014). Ottawa, Ont.: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. 54 p.

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In 2014, the cost of substance use (SU) in Canada was $38.4 billion— or approximately $1,100 spent for every Canadian regardless of age. This report presents the estimates of the costs of SU in Canada from 2007 to 2014 using the most reliable, up-to-date data sources and methods according to the following categories:
• Cost type (healthcare costs, lost productivity costs, criminal justice costs and other direct costs);
• Substance; and
• Province and territory.

The ability to track costs and trends in harms uniquely caused by specific types of substance will be a valuable asset to federal, provincial and territorial efforts aimed at reducing these harms. A better understanding of the societal costs associated with different substances can help inform policy decision making and resource allocation for law enforcement, and prevention, treatment and harm reduction services.

In 2014:
• Almost 70% of the total costs were due to alcohol and tobacco.
The four substances associated with the largest costs were (in order): Alcohol, contributing $14.6 billion or 38.1% of the total costs;
• Tobacco, contributing $12.0 billion or 31.2% of the total costs;
• Opioids, contributing $3.5 billion or 9.1% of the total costs; and
• Cannabis, contributing $2.8 billion or 7.3% of the total costs.

The distribution across the cost types was (in order): Lost productivity, contributing $15.7 billion or 40.8% of the total costs;
• Healthcare costs, contributing $11.1 billion or 29.0% of the total costs;
• Criminal justice, contributing $9.0 billion or 23.3% of the total costs; and
• Other direct costs, contributing $2.7 billion or 7.0% of the total costs.

• Per-person costs from SU were highest in the three territories.

Between 2007 and 2014:
• The per-person costs associated with SU increased 5.5% from $1,025 per person in 2007 to approximately $1,081 in 2014.
• The per-person costs associated with alcohol use increased 11.6% from $369 per person in 2007 to $412 per person in 2014.
• Per-person costs increased 19.1% for cannabis ($67 to $79) and 6.8% for tobacco ($315 to $337).
• Per-person costs decreased by 24.6% for cocaine ($84 to $63) and by 17.9% for other substances ($20 to $16).


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Report
Drug Type:Alcohol, Alcohol or other drugs in general
Intervention Type:AOD disorder
Source:CCSUA
Date:June 2018
Pages:54 p.
Publisher:Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Corporate Creators:Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms Scientific Working Group
Place of Publication:Ottawa, Ont.
EndNote:View
Subjects:J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care economics
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Economic policy
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Economic aspects of substance use (cost / pricing)
VA Geographic area > Canada

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