Updating estimates of the economic costs of alcohol abuse

In terms of health, alcohol abuse is not only an important risk factor for chronic disease, but it is also related to unintentional and intentional injuries [].On the social level the WHO Expert Committee on Problems Related to Alcohol Consumption reported that social harms which can be related to drinking include interpersonal problems, work problems, violent and other crimes [].

When considering implementation of alcohol abuse interventions, policy makers should take into account that economic evaluations from the societal perspective might underestimate the total effects and costs of interventions.

Cost-of illness studies which are performed according to the international guidelines of the WHO report all type of healthcare cost and societal costs comprehensively [].

From economic evaluations from the societal perspective, it is not known whether all types of societal costs are taken into account.

A study performed from a social perspective includes both healthcare costs and all relevant societal costs.

In the case of an alcohol abuse intervention performed from the societal perspective, costs due to productivity losses, crime and law enforcement costs also have to be included, in addition to health care costs.

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