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Home > Spending review 2021. Focused policy assessment of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery: an analysis of expenditure and performance in the area of drug and alcohol misuse.

Bruton, Lucy and Gibney, Sarah and Hynes, Terrance and Collins, Deirdre and Moran, Patrick (2021) Spending review 2021. Focused policy assessment of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery: an analysis of expenditure and performance in the area of drug and alcohol misuse. Dublin: Government of Ireland.

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Introduction

  • Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017 to 2025 (RHSR), continues the work of previous strategies on reducing the harms associated with substance misuse in Irish society but places a greater emphasis on supporting a health-led response to drug and alcohol use, and a further move away from a criminal justice approach. Alcohol misuse is also included in RHSR, the first-time alcohol has been included within the substance misuse strategy in an Irish context.
  • The main aims of this Focused Policy Assessment (FPA) were to; profile labelled expenditure on drug and alcohol misuse; estimate unlabelled expenditure based on medical and judicial costs and lost productivity; and, examine the performance of RHSR.
  • Having an estimate of the total economic burden that problem drug and alcohol use places on society, both in terms of the labelled expenditure on initiatives to ameliorate this problem, as well as the costs of dealing with the consequences of it, is a first step in generating the economic evidence base with which to evaluate public policy on substance misuse. This FPA analysed available data on labelled expenditure and sought to characterise, for the first time, drug-related unlabelled expenditure in the context of RHSR performance indicators over the period 2014-2019.

[See also, Irish Times news article]

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