In 1996, CCSA and a number of federal and provincial partners released the first-ever comprehensive estimate of the social costs of substance abuse in Canada. The 1996 study was made possible by the development of reliable international cost estimation guidelines in a process coordinated by CCSA.
In 2003, CCSA assembled another federal/provincial partnership for a second Canadian substance abuse cost study. The Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada 2002 was released in April, 2006. The study estimated the total cost to be $39.8 billion, or $1,267 for every Canadian.
The study also revealed that
- Legal substances (tobacco and alcohol) account for 79.3%of the total cost of substance abuse; illegal drugs make up the remaining 20.7%;
- Tobacco accounts for $17 billion (42.7%);
- Alcohol accounts for $14.6 billion (36.6%); and
- Illegal drugs account for $8.2 billion (20.7%).