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  • Writer's pictureDASA

The cost of addiction in Australia

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

DASA: The cost of addiction in Australia

In 2021 the cost of addiction to Australia was estimated to be $80 billion. This is based on a report produced by KPMG and Rethink Addiction, who came together to better understand the impact of addiction in Australia.

What is addiction?

Addiction is a chronic health condition characterised by an inability to stop taking a substance or engaging in an activity even though it may be causing harm. Some very common addictions include illicit and prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and gambling. According to KPMG1, one in four Australians will struggle with alcohol, other drugs, or gambling in their lifetime. Despite the damage addiction can cause to self and family, people with addiction issues often put off seeking help.

In the KPMG/Rethink Addiction joint report “Understanding the cost of addiction in Australia” (released in November 2022), the impact of productivity and associated losses to the nation’s economy due to addiction was estimated at $80 billion. This cost breaks down as follows:

  • Tobacco - $35.8 billion (44%).

  • Alcohol – $22.6 billion (28%).

  • Prescription and illicit drugs – $12.9 billion (16%).

  • Gambling - $10.7 billion (13%).

The report details that addiction-related costs are incurred across the healthcare system, justice system, productivity in the workplace, and in the home, as well as in other areas.

For full details see the link below:

As a workplace drug and alcohol testing provider, we know only too well the impact drugs and alcohol can have in the workplace. Productivity losses, incidents and accidents, damage to company reputation and poor morale are all potential risks to drug and alcohol use in the workplace. DASA can help your organisation mitigate those risks with a robust policy, quality education and regular drug and alcohol testing. To find out more, call us today on 1300 230 231 or email us at


DASA (Drug and Alcohol Solutions Australia) is proud to be leading the way in workplace drug and alcohol testing services throughout Australia. Whether your need is for workplace drug and workplace alcohol testing, advice on drug and alcohol policy or ideas on how to communicate your workplace expectations, policies and procedures to your staff, DASA can help. We have the experience, technical expertise and people to lead you to the right solution.



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