In 2020, drug abuse cost the Canadian economy $49.1 billion. Between 2007 and 2020, that represents a rise in costs per person of nearly 12%, or more than $11 billion.
The most recent data are included in the Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms [CSUCH] 2007-2020 report, which was released today by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) at the University of Victoria.
In 2020, productivity losses alone will cost $22.4 billion, or $589 per person. This incorporates the worth of work lost because of unexpected losses and long-and momentary handicap.
“The way that lost efficiency was the main class of costs shows that substance use isn’t simply a medical services issue,” says Dr. Adam Sherk, a researcher at CISUR and a specialist for the review. ” Employers can help their employees by investing in programs for prevention, harm reduction, and treatment as well as by creating policies that are supportive of substance use.
The costs of substance use are looked at in four main ways in the report. Healthcare expenses totaled $13.4 billion, or 27.4 percent, in addition to lost productivity, which accounted for 45.6% of the total costs. Other direct costs accounted for $3.3 billion (6.7%), while criminal justice costs totaled $10 billion (20.3%). These figures show that substance abuse issues can be found in many facets of our daily lives and require solutions to be addressed.
The following are additional findings from the report:
- Alcohol accounted for just more than 40% of the total costs by substance at $19.7 billion.
- The costs of alcohol and tobacco use have diverged over time. Costs of alcohol use increased 21%, while per-person costs of tobacco use declined 20%.
- Opioid use cost $7.1 billion in 2020 — the highest of any year examined. Nearly 75% of these costs were related to lost productivity and, more specifically, people dying at an early age from opioid use.
- The per-person cost of substance use increased 11.8%, from $1,154 in 2007 to $1,291 in 2020.
- Per-person costs of opioids and stimulants increased the most of all substances since 2007, reflecting the increasingly toxic unregulated drug supply and the number of harms related to drug poisoning.
- The per-person cost of cannabis decreased 9.1% between 2018 and 2020 following the legalization of its recreational use. The decrease during the last three years was due to reduced criminal justice costs.
In 2020, substance abuse was responsible for nearly 74,000 deaths, or nearly 200 deaths per day. Over 85% of deaths are caused by alcohol and tobacco alone, according to Emily Biggar, a CCSA Research and Policy Analyst and project researcher. Our estimates demonstrate not only the effects of substance abuse on the criminal justice and healthcare systems in Canada, but also on people’s ability to work and contribute to the economy. To improve the health and productivity of Canadians, a variety of prevention, harm reduction, and treatment initiatives are required.
Following releases in 2018 and 2020, this is the third update to the Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms Project. CCSA and CISUR fostered the CSUCH report to all the more likely comprehend the cultural monetary expenses and damages related with substance use in Canada. These estimates, which are updated on a regular basis, can be used to prioritize appropriate public policies, develop programs to address the negative effects of substance abuse, identify information gaps, research requirements, and make improvements to national data reporting systems; measure the effects of changing patterns and levels of substance use, as well as the policy and societal responses to substance use,