Denmark Country Drug Report 2018

Public expenditure

Understanding of the costs of drug-related actions is an important aspect of drug policy. Some of the funds allocated by governments for expenditure on tasks related to drugs are identified as such in the budget (‘labelled’). Often, however, most drug-related expenditure is not identified (‘unlabelled’) and must be estimated using modelling approaches.

In Denmark, multiannual drug budgets are associated with a number of interventions in the field of drugs under the Social Reserve Grants Agreement. Available data on drug-related public expenditure are multiannual and include only labelled expenditure. Reported data show that the Social Reserve Grants Agreement had a planned budget of EUR 19.5 million for drug-related initiatives between 2004 and 2007. In 2006, this budget was reinforced, reaching EUR 33.6 million over the period 2006-09. In 2008 and 2009, this budget was provided with an additional EUR 16.4 million and, in 2011, received EUR 9.6 million more. In 2012, a total of EUR 3.2 million was budgeted for 2012-15. Later, for the period 2013-18, a budget of EUR 13.8 million was assigned to central government. In 2015, several treatment and social reintegration programmes were launched (e.g. EUR 4.7 million to co-finance drug consumption rooms; EUR 9.2 million to support programmes for anonymous treatment of drug users; EUR 1 million for naloxone programmes; EUR 1.2 million for interventions reaching young people with cannabis-related psychosis; and EUR 0.4 million for prevention programmes among students). In 2016, the treatment of drug users in prison had a budget of EUR 15 million, which represented an increase on previous years.

The data available for local government expenditure indicate that EUR 120.9 million and EUR 124 million were spent on drug treatment in 2014 and 2015, respectively. As regards social treatment, a slight increase was registered between 2013 and 2016; in 2016, spending reached EUR 129 million (DKK 961 million), compared with EUR 126 million (DKK 942 million) in 2015, at 2017 prices. However, no data are available for municipal expenditure on prevention and medical treatment.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.