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Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being$
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Peter Anderson, Jürgen Rehm, and Robin Room

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714002.001.0001

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Social costs of addiction in Europe

Social costs of addiction in Europe

(p.181) Chapter 9 Social costs of addiction in Europe
Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being

Kevin D. Shield

Maximilien X. Rehm

Jürgen Rehm

Oxford University Press

Alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, illicit drug use, and gambling result in enormous social costs globally and in Europe in particular. The problematic use of addictive substances as well as problematic gambling are responsible for a large proportion of these costs. With respect to Europe, the combined social costs of alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking are approximately €100 billion per year; however, these costs may actually be greater as the underlying methodologies used to estimate these costs do not allow for meaningful comparisons between studies. Furthermore, as the social costs of the problematic use of addictive substances and of problematic gambling were found to be substantial by all studies, additional research that allows for comparisons between substances, jurisdictions, and over time is recommended in order to inform effective, evidence-based public health policies.

Keywords:   social costs, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, gambling, problematic use, health policies

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