National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Intergovernmental committee on Drugs working party on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Monograph

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia: An Update

June 2012

Economic impact of FASD in Australia

Lucy Burns and Elizabeth Elliott

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Table of contents

FASD is associated with a number of poor health outcomes including birth defects, developmental, behavioural and learning difficulties and premature death (Streissguth 1994; Habbick et al. 1997; Applied Economics 2008; Elliott et al. 2008). These outcomes result in high costs both to individuals with FASD and their families/carers (private costs) and to the community as a whole including health and education services (social costs). The IGCD commissioned a consultant to estimate the estimate the economic costs of FASD in Australia. Due to limitations in the availability and quality of data this estimate was not possible. Below we provide a summary of the Applied Economics 2008 report on FASD including the methods for calculating these costs and a review of international estimates (Applied Economics 2008).

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