National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

The avoidable costs of alcohol abuse in Australia and the potential benefits of effective policies to reduce the social costs of alcohol

8.2 Methodological implications

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This study is one of two international research projects (the second being in Canada) which are applying the International Guidelines for the Estimation of the Avoidable Costs of Substance Abuse (Collins et al., 2006) to the estimation of the avoidable costs of alcohol. The guidelines, which were written in advance of any specific avoidable cost research project, were designed to assist researchers in this area of study. It was always acknowledged by Health Canada, the funding body for the guidelines, that there would be a need for revision in the light of the practical experience gained in these projects. Indeed, one of the objectives of these initial studies was to provide the basis for revision and improvement of the guidelines. It is hoped that, when revised, the guidelines will provide incentive and guidance to other potential researchers, a function which the original WHO International guidelines for estimating the costs of substance abuse (Single et al., 2003) have certainly performed in relation to substance abuse cost studies in several countries.

The avoidable cost guidelines explored four different, but not mutually exclusive, approaches to the estimation of the avoidable costs of substance abuse:

Our general conclusions with regard to the four approaches are as follows: Top of Page

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