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

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Most Read