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A report says substance use costs Canadians almost $46 billion

As well as leading to over 275,000 hospitalizations
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The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) was the organization that conducted the report.

Their findings identify in 2017, the cost of substance use for Canadians was $46 billion, and contributed to the loss of nearly 75,000 lives, and over 275,000 hospitalizations.

"The most recent data we had available to use was from 2017, and this was due to the delay of reporting because information about deaths is more of a lagging indicator," said Dr. Matthew M. Young, Senior Research and Policy Analyst for CCSA during the Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS. 

To calculate these figures the CCSA looked at the impacts substance abuse has on the healthcare system, the criminal justice system, lost productivity, policing, and court costs. 

Their assessment looked at all drugs with alcohol and tobacco accounting for most of the cost. "Alcohol contributes the largest amount of the cost at about 36.2 per cent ... and tobacco comes in second at about 26.7 per cent," said Young. 

The data for this report is pre-cannabis legalization, and the CCSA illustrates cannabis costs can be allocated to policing the illegality of the substance. 

Young added moving forward, they are going to look at legal marijuana, and how it may impact costs and future reports.

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Tim Herd

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