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SUD treatment cost rises 22% in Canada

November 21, 2014
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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The cost of hospitalizing people with substance use disorders increased 22 percent over five years, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA)..

Analyzing the latest data provided by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, CCSA's report, The Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Hospital Use, found the cost over five years spiked to $267 million ($237 million US) in 2011, up from $219 million ($195 million US) in 2006. Alcohol-related disorders accounted for more than half of the costs.

This study is the first in Canada to examine, by substance, how alcohol and other drugs, including marijuana and prescription drugs, are affecting the country’s hospital system, focusing only on those admitted to a hospital with the primary diagnosis of a substance use disorder requiring treatment for acute intoxication, convulsions or withdrawal symptoms. The report did not include those admitted for accidents or injuries that happened as a result of alcohol or other substance use. It also did not include those seeking help at emergency departments who were not admitted, or those seeking help from community treatment facilities or outpatient services.

CCSA provides a cost breakdown:

  • Alcohol: $145 million ($129 million US)
  • Opioids: $15 million ($13 million US)
  • Cannabis: $14 million ($12 million US)
  • Cocaine: $13 million ($11 million US)
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