Austria Country Drug Report 2019

Public expenditure

Understanding the costs of drug-related actions is an important aspect of drug policy. Generally, 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 available information does not allow reporting on the size of and trends in drug-related public expenditure in Austria. However, in 2013, a study on the cost of drug dependency estimated that the costs attributable to the use of illicit drugs total EUR 278 million annually. This is made up of healthcare expenditure (EUR 135 million), social expenditure (EUR 51 million) and state expenditure (on police and court activities) (EUR 96 million).

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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.