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.
Recent estimates of drug-related expenditure are not available. Estimates for labelled drug-related public expenditures were conducted for the period 2007-11, as the 2007-09 and 2011 action plans of the National Strategy for Prevention of Drug Dependency included associated annual budgets. Most demand and supply reduction initiatives were financed through the aggregate budget of the entities in charge of their implementation at central government level. Available data indicate that labelled drug-related expenditures amounted to 0.02 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, with the majority spent on demand reduction. Between 2007 and 2010, a slight decrease in the proportion of labelled drug-related expenditures was reported. This decrease is attributed to public austerity measures following the economic recession of 2008. In 2010, labelled expenditures on supply reduction registered a nominal increase, while expenditures in the demand reduction area declined further.