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

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Over $25,000 raised for Columbia Basin literacy

Success for 2018 Books for Kids campaign

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Grand Forks bantam team takes Nelson tournament

The team dominated the competition with some outstanding displays of skill and technique.

Donate to the Grand Forks and District Public Library

The library is undertaking significant washroom renovations.

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Most Read