National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

The costs of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug abuse to Australian Society in 2004/05 - Summary Report

1. Introduction

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This booklet summarises the results of a study by Collins and Lapsley (2007) that estimates the social costs of drug abuse in Australia in the financial year 2004/05, with ‘drugs’ including alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs. The study is the fourth in a series prepared for the Department of Health and Ageing by these authors; previous studies were undertaken for 1988, 1992 and the financial year 1998/99.

The full report examines the study’s methods, concentrating on the economic aspects, with three appendixes detailing the demographic, epidemiological and criminological methods used. Bibliographical details of the full report, and a list of all tables that it contains, can be found at the end of this booklet.

The different uses of substance abuse cost estimates are discussed in some detail in the World Health Organization publication International guidelines for estimating the costs of substance abuse (Single et al. 2003):


The purpose of the research summarised here was to provide reliable estimates that could inform all of these public policy objectives.

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