Portugal Country Drug Report 2018

Public expenditure

Understanding 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.

As part of the evaluation of the Portuguese Action Plan 2009-12 labelled drug-related expenditure for that period was estimated. The available data indicate that drug-related public expenditure accounted for between 0.06 % and 0.05 % of gross domestic product (GDP) over the period 2009-11 (0.06 % of GDP in 2009 and 2010, and 0.05 % in 2011), averaging at 0.05 % over the period 2009-12. However, the estimates have limitations, as data on some types of expenditure (e.g. on prisons or for social security) were missing, or may also include spending related to alcohol.

Currently, public entities implementing drug policy in Portugal are funded within their global budget on an annual basis and there are no specific budgets that finance drug policy as such. Public expenditure on drug-related initiatives was also estimated as part of the evaluation of the Portuguese Action Plan 2013-16; however, the results are not yet available.

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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.