The fight against alcoholism and drug addiction improve the nation and save billions of tenge

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The vast majority of deaths in our country falls on non-communicable diseases. Pandemic coronavirus showed that severe forms of the disease caused by a coronavirus infection and high mortality rate have on patients with chronic non-communicable diseases. These diseases

the result of an improper diet, bad habits and sedentary lifestyle

At the end of last year, experts presented the study to assess the economic damage caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDS) in Kazakhstan.

This work is applied part of the Concept of harm reduction from sources of NCDS, adopted in Kazakhstan in 2018. Marat Kairlenov, candidate of economic Sciences and expert in the field of public health, referring to the international experience noted that to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases possibly affecting the way of life by adjusting his behavior through the offer less harmful alternatives.

— I was interested in this study from the point of view of the concept of harm reduction and quality of life of the population. Including people who abuse unhealthy habits, and through the optimization of health care costs.

Unfortunately such quality and public research in our country is very small, which adversely affects the efficiency of the decisions taken by government agencies.

Considering the mortality rate by types of diseases, international experts say that in the last hundred years grew rapidly, the share of non-communicable (chronic) diseases.

For example,

in our country, on non-communicable diseases account for the vast majority of premature deaths (99%). To combat these diseases takes most of the costs for medical services

The consequences of improper nutrition

The authors of the Concept pointed out that improper diet leads to blood circulatory system diseases, the neoplasms, malignant formations. Here

mortality ranges from 15 to 60%

For the settlement of our country, the authors used very conservative approaches. Thus, the contribution of malnutrition to mortality is taken at 20%, and in terms of contribution of human resources in Kazakhstan, the expected GDP used in estimation of 25%, with the GDP share of income in 30%.
Even with these very conservative estimates

the positive effect in the period from 2019 to 2030, they estimate 218,7 billion.

Tobacco control

In terms of Smoking, the authors estimated the economic effect of the transition to electronic delivery systems nicotine (ESDN — electronic cigarette products from the heated tobacco).

There is also used a conservative approach.
So, if in foreign studies, acknowledges the potential for harm reduction by 80-90%, for Kazakhstan the authors considered only the level of 40%.

This is the case if tobacco smokers will be ISDN.

Further, based on the annual transition of smokers to ISDN 5% and saved lives of our fellow citizens, and therefore conducted their GDP (1/4 of the annual GDP per capita),

a positive economic effect for 2019-2030 years will amount to 85,7 billion tenge

The struggle with alcohol dependence

In assessing loss prevention from alcoholism by switching to a less strong alcoholic drinks, and estimated mortality rates.
When considering losses from alcoholism, the authors cited data on the research of foreign experts of the developed countries — USA, France, Canada, and the medium, such as South Korea and Thailand, where direct and indirect losses from alcoholism are estimated, the average for developed countries, 2.5% of GDP, and the averagely by 2.1%.
Extrapolating these figures for Kazakhstan we can talk

annual losses of 1.4-1.7 trillion. tenge

However, based on the experience of anti-alcohol campaigns in the United States and the Soviet Union, the authors focus on a strategy to transition to a less strong alcoholic drinks by 5% per year.

In this case,

saved lives will produce additional GDP 25.9 billion tenge

what can be considered a very conservative estimate.

The struggle with addiction

Considering the struggle with addiction, the authors on the basis of the analysis research has identified five types of expenses:

— reduced productivity,

— mortality,

— the fight against drug trafficking,

— health care costs

social costs of disability.

In addition, on the basis of literature review and research

the authors proceed from the hypothesis that harm reduction is 33.3% of the methadone

The economic effect of the transfer of drug addicts on methadone therapy considered by the authors of the Concept at 56.8 billion tenge for the period from 2019 to 2030.

These calculations can be considered very conservative because they do not take into account the economy of the state and society by reducing costs to combat drug-related crime and social disability payments.


As a comment it can be noted that in the presented calculations and assess the economic effect from implementation of this Concept does not include the cost of implementing these measures. However, this feature of the Concept is offset by a number of factors.

First of all, a method of evaluating the economic effect of the support for calculations of GDP per capita in terms of share of human resources in its manufacture that is used in a large part effects.

In addition, extremely conservative approach to the assessment of economic effects, where underreporting can be assessed not only in times, but even orders.

Finally, it can be noted that the costs of the state and society on the goals and implementation strategies outlined in the Concept may be quite different due to the development of new technologies, reduce “corruption” and other things.

In summary, the expert noted that the presented

The concept is of a high professional level and may act as a guideline for formulation of state policy in reforming the country’s health and the health of the nation as a whole

This is especially true now, when an epidemic of coronavirus has demonstrated once again that

it’s time to form new habits, to strengthen and improve the efficiency of the entire health system of the country.

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