About the CSUCH Project

Developed by Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR), the Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms (CSUCH) project has two main objectives:

  • Provide comparable, valid and up-to-date data on costs and harms of substance use in Canada; and
  • Allow people to actively explore and analyze the data through the interactive data visualization tool.

Regularly updated estimates are needed to monitor the economic cost and harms from substance use in Canada. These estimates can be used by public health experts and government officials to:

  • Prioritize and target relevant public policies;
  • Create initiatives to target the harms caused by substance use;
  • Identify information gaps, research needs and refinements tnational data reporting systems; and
  • Measure the impact of changing levels and patterns of substance use, as well as changes to policy and societal responses tsubstance use.

Key Events During the Canadian Substance Use Cost and Harms Project

These are key dates and events related to the CSUCH project.

  • March 2006
    CCSA releases the Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada 2002. It is the most recent study on the costs of substance use in Canada for over a decade until the creation of the CSUCH project.
  • April 2016
    A scientific working group co-chaired by CCSA and CISUR (at the time known as the Centre for Addiction Research of British Columbia [CARBC]) is established to develop more recent estimates of costs and harms of substance use in Canada as it relates to:

    • Healthcare
    • Lost Productivity
    • Criminal Justice
    • Other direct costs

    Improving on the foundation laid by the 2006 study, estimates are produced for eight different substance categories. This is the origin of the CSUCH project.
  • June 2018
    CCSA and CISUR release the first updated assessment of substance use costs and harms in Canada since 2006, the Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms report (2007–2014).
  • March 2019
    The first CSUCH Data Visualization Tool launches. It allows users to explore the costs and harms of substance use in Canada, and create and download customized charts, maps and tables.
  • July 2020
    CCSA and CISUR release the second update, which presents the costs and harms of substance use in Canada for 2015 to 2017, the Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms report (2015–2017).

    This release includes method enhancements for estimates of substance use prevalence and substance use–attributable poisoning deaths. For this reason, estimates were not directly comparable with those in the first release.

    In addition, an updated CSUCH Data Visualization Tool (version 2) was released.
  • March 2023
    CCSA and CISUR release the third (and most current) update that presents the costs and harms of substance use in Canada, the Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms report (2007-2020). This update features 14 years of data, including new data for 2018–2020. as well as method enhancements for many types of costs and harms. These improvements include:

    • The most recent international evidence on health conditions caused by substance use;
    • More precise estimates of substance use prevalence;
    • Improved precision of criminal justice estimates by offence type; and
    • Addition of new costs for paramedic services and social assistance.

Future Updates

The CSUCH project team will continue to add new years of data and types of costs and harms in the future. Sign up to receive notifications about future releases of new data and products.

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