Portugal 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.

The evaluation of the Portuguese Action Plan 2009-12 estimated the average annual labelled drug-related expenditure over that period at 0.05 % of gross domestic product (GDP). However, data on some types of expenditure (e.g. on prisons or for social security) were missing, while other data used may have included spending related to alcohol.

The Action Plan 2013-16 had no associated budget. The actions detailed in the plan were executed using the regular budgets of the entities responsible for the various interventions. The evaluation of the Action Plan 2013-16 estimated public expenditure on interventions to tackle drug problems and the harmful use of alcohol. Although data on the expenditure on some interventions were missing, the available information suggests that, on average, annual public expenditure on tackling drugs and harmful alcohol use in Portugal reached at least 0.03 % of GDP between 2013 and 2016.

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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.