Assessing Socioeconomic Costs of Drug Abuse

By September 5, 2015

Assessing the Socioeconomic Costs of Drug Abuse in Hong Kong SAR

The use of illicit drugs involves a large number of adverse health and social consequences. There is a strong interest in the development of scientifically accredited and reliable estimate of the socioeconomic costs of drugs, alcohol and tobacco worldwide. Knowledge on the amount of resources expended associating with drug abuse informs decisions relating to policy formulation, funding allocation and interventions on anti-drug abuse.

To date, there have Drug addiction 1been studies attempting to figure out the socioeconomic costs of drug abuse in Hong Kong.  However, due to the lack of systematic and consistent analytical framework in defining costs, none of these provided a complete and consistent estimate of the socioeconomic costs of drug abuse in Hong Kong. Thus, there is a need to understand the definition of costs and the available analytical framework on cost estimation in the field of drug abuse such that reliable and comparable cost estimation can be made.

This study aims to develop a conceptual framework for the estimation of socioeconomic costs of drug abuse in the context of Hong Kong. More specifically, there are four major objectives the project hopes to achieve with the framework in reducing the risk of drug abuse or illicit drug use in Hong Kong:

(1) a reliable estimate of socioeconomic costs helps to prioritize drug abuse issues on the public policy agenda;
(2) it provides useful information for targeting specific problems and policies;
(3) it helps to identify information gaps, research needs and desirable refinements to statistical reporting systems;
(4) it enhances the development of a more comprehensive and reliable framework in conducting economic evaluation on policies and programmes at reducing the harm associated with the use of illicit drugs in Hong Kong.

Last update : September 5, 2015