Social Cost of Substance Abuse in Russia.

Research paper by Elena E Potapchik, Larisa L Popovich

Indexed on: 01 Sep '14Published on: 01 Sep '14Published in: Value in Health Regional Issues


To summarize results of studies that estimate the social costs of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug abuse in Russia. The purpose of these studies was to inform policymakers about the real economic burden of risky behaviors and to provide conditions for evidence-based and well-informed decision making in this area. The cost-of-illness method was applied to estimate the social cost of substance abuse. The intangible cost was not included in estimation. A prevalence-based approach was applied to estimate the tangible cost. For the estimation of direct costs, a top-down method was used. Indirect costs were estimated using two methods: the human capital and the friction cost. In 2008, the social cost of substance abuse in Russia comprised 677.2 billion rubles if the friction cost method is applied and 1965.9 billion rubles if the human capital method is used. The social cost of substance abuse is defined to the greatest extent by alcohol consumption, comprising about 45% of the economic burden. Illicit drug use comprises about 30% of the economic burden and tobacco consumption 25%. The results of economic studies demonstrated that psychoactive substances impose a considerable economic burden on society. Analysis of the substance abuse social cost pattern shows that the main losses that society bears because of these behavioral risk factors fall outside the health care system and lay in other sectors of the economy such as social care, law enforcement, and productivity losses. Copyright © 2014 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.