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.