The facts about substance abuse in Canada are dire.
So it is throughout the word.
And the media constantly focusses on the use of drugs as being a major problem.
It really does not deal with the other abuses that are much bigger than opioids.
And as the report makes it clear opioids are not the number one substance abuse problem in Canada.
So what appears to be the major problem isn’t really the major one.
And now a detailed study of substance abuse lays it all out and pricks a few misconception.
First of all let’s look the economic cost of substance abuse in Canada.
The latest available figure are for 2014.
And they indicate the cost
The economic cost of substance abuse in Canada in 2014 was $38.4 billion, or about $1,100 for every Canadian.
The largest cost was alcohol at $14.6 billion, followed by tobacco at $12 billion, opioids at $3.5 billion and marijuana at $2.8 billion.
The report was done by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research.
And here is the startling point on the facts about substance abuse in Canada – despite the record number of people dying from opioid deaths it is alcohol and tobacco that account for two-thirds of the 438 billion abuse.
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.”