Spain 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.

Spanish authorities provide annual partial estimates of drug-related public expenditure from the central government and from the autonomous communities and cities. However, the estimates do not cover all sectors and include labelled and unlabelled expenditure. Comparability over time is limited because reporting entities and data collection methods have changed.

A study estimated total drug-related expenditure in Spain in 2012. During that year, total drug-related expenditure ranged between EUR 1 201 million and EUR 1 415 million, which amounted to between 0.12 % and 0.14 % of gross domestic product (GDP). Approximately 60 % was spent on demand reduction initiatives, while close to 40 % was allocated to supply reduction.

Recent data estimate that in 2016 a total of EUR 317.36 million was allocated for drug-related public expenditure, which amounted to about 0.03 % of the GDP. One third of it was spent by the central government, while the remainder was spent by the autonomous communities and cities, who are responsible for delivering healthcare.

Spain main page

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.