Cost of substance use in Canada tops $38 billion, with booze and tobacco on top

The study concludes that despite record opioid overdose deaths across Canada, more than two-thirds of substance use costs are associated with alcohol and tobacco.

The economic cost of substance use in Canada in 2014 was $38.4 billion, or about $1,100 for every Canadian, says a report released Tuesday.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction partnered with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to examine the data and estimate the harms of substance use based on health, justice, lost productivity and other costs.

The study concludes that despite record opioid overdose deaths across Canada, more than two-thirds of substance use costs are associated with alcohol and tobacco.

It finds the four substances associated with the largest costs are alcohol at $14.6 billion, tobacco at $12 billion, opioids at $3.5 billion and marijuana at $2.8 billion.

Related: How can we change the public discussion on drug addiction?

Related: Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

The report says the ability to track costs and harms caused by each substance will be a valuable asset to federal, provincial and territorial efforts to reduce the damage caused by these substances.

In concludes the costs associated with alcohol use jumped from $369 per person in 2007 to $412 per person in 2014.

Tim Stockwell, with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria, says many people would consider opioids to be the cause of the most economic and personal harm.

“I think most people would be surprised to know that alcohol and tobacco are killing ten times more people than the other illicit drugs combined.”

Matthew Young, a senior research and policy analyst at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction in Ottawa, says the report comes at a time when Canada is in the midst of a deadly opioid overdose crisis and is about to legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana in October.

“Even though those are really important, we shouldn’t lose sight of some of the substances we take for granted that are intertwined with our regular lives because they do still exact a toll,” he says.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Changes at school district prompt disharmony over music program

Former School District #83 superintendent calls for independent review

Police in Vernon catch suspects after armed robbery in Salmon Arm

Victims told police they were robbed at knife point near an ATM

Salmon Arm mayor proposes plastic bag ban for new year

Legislation to be introduced with rollout of curbside collection of organics in July

Mother of missing Shuswap woman holds out hope she’ll be found

Nicole Bell’s mom urges public to report any information that might help

In Photos: Salmon Arm pays respect at Remembrance Day ceremony

Veterans and cadets, community groups and other residents gathered at the Salmon… Continue reading

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read