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Preliminary estimates of the economic implications of addiction in the United Arab Emirates
journal contributionposted on 09.03.2018, 00:00 by Christopher Doran
© 2016, World Health Organization. All Rights Reserved.This study aimed to provide preliminary estimates of the economic implications of addiction in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Local and international data sources were used to derive estimates of substancerelated healthcare costs, lost productivity and criminal behaviour. From an estimated population of 8.26 million: ~1.47 million used tobacco (20.5% of adults); 380 085 used cannabis (> 5%); 14 077 used alcohol in a harmful manner (0.2%); and 1408 used opiates (0.02%). The cost of addiction was estimated at US$ 5.47 billion in 2012, equivalent to 1.4% of gross domestic product. Productivity costs were the largest contributor at US$ 4.79 billion (88%) followed by criminal behaviour at US$ 0.65 billion (12%). There were no data to estimate cost of: treating tobacco-related diseases, community education and prevention efforts, or social disharmony. Current data collection efforts are limited in their capacity to fully inform an appropriate response to addiction in the UAE. Resources are required to improve indicators of drug use, monitor harm and evaluate treatment.