France Country Drug Report 2019

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.

An assessment of the social costs of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, published in 2015, estimated the social costs of illicit drugs at EUR 8 700 million in 2010, less than the amount estimated for alcohol (EUR 118 000 million) or tobacco (EUR 122 000 million). While the previous French action plan on drugs and addictive behaviours (2013-17) had a budget specifying the public funding foreseen to implement the design actions, the National Action Plan on Addictions 2018-22 does not provide a budget.

The total drug-related expenditure of the central government is submitted annually to the French Parliament. In 2016, total drug-related expenditure was estimated at EUR 2.23 billion, which accounted for 0.1 % of gross domestic product (GDP). Funds were spent on demand reduction initiatives (52 %), supply reduction activities (47 %), and cross-disciplinary activities, coordination and international cooperation (1 %). In the latest estimate for 2016, total drug expenditure increased by 9 % in nominal terms compared with the previous year.

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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.