How studies of the cost-of-illness of substance abuse can be made more useful for policy analysis

Date of Original Version



Working Paper

Abstract or Description

An elementary step in drug policy analysis is comparing the cost of an intervention to its benefit in the form of the social cost averted because of reduced drug use and associated consequences. One would think that cost of illness (COI) studies would provide a solid foundation for quantifying the benefits of reduced drug use, but at present they do not. This paper suggests ways the COI studies could be adapted to serve better policy analytic purposes.