Drug treatment expenditure: a methodological overview


It is estimated that over 1 million people receive treatment for drug-related problems in the European Union every year. With shrinking public budgets, increasing pressure on health systems, changes in the drugs used and the need to provide on-going care to chronic cases, what is the real cost of drug treatment in Europe? In collaboration with experts from around the globe, the EMCDDA has compiled this analytical report, the first of its kind, to present the current practices used for estimating drug treatment costs in order to help fill the knowledge gap.

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Table of contents

  • Foreword
  • Executive summary
  • Ackowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: A methodology for estimating health expenditure on drug treatment: the Australian experience
  • Chapter 2: Estimating labelled public expenditure on drug treatment in Croatia
  • Chapter 3: Expenditure on drug treatment in the Czech Republic
  • Chapter 4: Bottom-up versus top-down methods of cost estimation: the case of medical drug treatment and rehabilitation in Hungary
  • Chapter 5: A methodological inventory for the assessment of selected, unlabelled direct public expenditure in the field of drug demand reduction
  • Chapter 6: Estimating the costs of treating drug-related health problems in the United Kingdom
  • Chapter 7: Public expenditure on drug treatment and associated comorbidities: a case study of Bergamo 
  • Chapter 8: Public expenditure on opioid substitution treatment in Italy
  • Chapter 9: A methodology for an EU cross-country comparison? Public expenditure on drug treatment in hospitals
  • Chapter 10: The cost calculator: a tool for estimating public spending on drug treatment in England
  • Chapter 11: Empirical estimation of drug treatment costs in Portugal
  • Chapter 12: Estimating the costs of substitution therapy for heroin and opioid addiction in the United States: insights and challenges
  • Chapter 13: A cross-national comparison of public expenditures on drug treatment: context is key
  • Chapter 14: Social cost of illicit drugs in France: what’s new in estimating the value for lives lost and illness?
  • Chapter 15: Estimating drug treatment expenditure: discussion and concluding remarks