Costs of alcoholism
The costs – who wants to believe what the real economic cost of alcohol related problems is to Australia!
Study of the economic impact of alcoholism has been going on and off over the years. Study has unfortunately, never made a difference to the Industry and treatment services and intervention strategies languish. Tragically the policy makers, who are often well known figures, have no real idea about treatment or interventions. This includes a huge number of academics, doctors, psychiatrists and others. None of these policy makers have genuine knowledge of the various types of interventions and strategies and have no empirical evidence to support the policy approaches decided.
One thing everyone seems to agree upon, however, is the financial Cost! The following information is from a fairly recent document from Griffith University. The link to the full document is https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/58981/85722_1.pdf?sequence=1
Definitions of what constitutes alcohol related problems is not available. This may be because the researchers themselves may not know or understand those definitions or lack experience or perhaps think that we all should know what those definitions are. But in spite of any shortcomings, this research gives an indication of the huge impact of alcoholism on Australian society. (please review the Research paper to identify all the sources for any reference information)
The total costs to society of alcohol-related problems in 2010 was estimated to be $14,352b. Of this, $2,958b (or 20.6%) represents costs to the criminal justice system, $1,686b (or 11.7%) comprises costs to the health system, $6,046b (or 42.1%) involve costs to Australian productivity and $3,662b (or 25.5%) are costs associated with traffic accidents. This estimate of total costs, however, does not incorporate the negative impacts on others ($6,807b estimated by Laslett et al. 2010) associated with someone else’s drinking.
Clearly, productivity losses accounted for the largest proportion of the total cost estimate—with these losses calculated as the sum of reduced workforce and household labour due to premature mortality, reduced household labour due to sickness and reduced workforce participation due to absenteeism. Premature mortality-related losses accounted for the majority of these losses (at 90%).
Traffic accidents involving alcohol incur significant costs, which include human costs (from fatalities as well as serious injuries), vehicle and other property damage-related costs, as well as other general costs. The estimates of traffic accident-related costs referred to above are primarily derived from updating the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ (2009) data on alcohol-related incidents to 2010 using parameters derived from state-specific and combining this with cost-per-incident data derived from Collins and Lapsley (2008), indexed to 2010 dollars. Human costs (at 57.7%) accounted for the majority of the traffic accident costs associated with alcohol misuse.
Costs to the criminal justice system were incurred by police (38% of total), child protection and support services (8% of total) and prisons (21%), as well as to insurance administration (1%), to courts (3%) and other organisations associated with addressing violence (29% of total).