I am not an economist, but I can tell you that most of the cost with regard to substance use disorders is the loss of productivity and the economic impact. When we look at the demographic in Saskatchewan, at least, it's older rather than younger now with regard to methamphetamine. It's the slightly older twenties and thirties as opposed to the teens and twenties. You're dealing with people in their twenties and thirties who are losing their most productive years. As well, unfortunately, their children are being lost to care, because they are unable to look after them.
With regard to the health care costs, I think we're seeing significant costs because of our inadequacy in addressing the health care needs of individuals. People are in and out of detox, in and out of treatment centres, in and out of emergency departments and in and out of acute-care wards in the hospital. They're not getting effective treatment long enough, and that actually leads to an escalation in costs. It's not efficient at all.
For instance, with IV drug use, we often have people being admitted to hospital with abscesses of joints or bone infections that require six weeks of IV antibiotic therapy. If we are not able to provide a stable environment for them to complete six weeks of IV antibiotic therapy in a very structured environment in a hospital ward.... These are individuals who might have been previously hunting and gathering on the streets. We need better behavioural management to keep them there for six weeks and address some of their root issues. If they are not able to be retained there, they leave, they come back, and the infection is worse. They're not able to complete the antibiotic therapy. They leave and come back. So it might take 12 or 24 weeks to complete six weeks of antibiotic therapy, simply because we are not providing the behavioural management and support they require.
This is why it's difficult to answer your question. So much of the cost is due to our inefficiency.