Background: Funding agencies and policy makers often criticize residential addiction treatment because the cost of residential services is much higher than outpatient services and it is not clear whether the outcomes are significantly better for most clients. To address these concerns, proponents of residential treatment require economic evidence to justify further investments in this modality over less intensive and less costly options. Methods: Recent studies have developed methods and empirical guidelines for using the Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP) and the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) in a comprehensive economic evaluation of addiction treatment. The present study followed these guidelines to estimate the economic costs and benefits of residential addiction treatment at five programs in the State of Washington serving publicly funded clients. Results: Average weekly economic cost of treatment services at the five programs ranged from $463 to $703. Average (per client) economic cost of treatment was $3,650 for all subjects that completed both a baseline and follow-up questionnaire (N=222; 82%). Average (per client) total economic benefit was $22,874, leading to estimates of $19,224 for average net benefit and 6.27 for the benefit-cost ratio. A detailed sensitivity analysis did not alter the qualitative findings. Conclusion: This study provides conclusive evidence that for this sample of programs in Washington State the economic benefits of residential addiction treatment significantly exceeded the economic costs. Extensions of this research to other clients, States, and modalities should be feasible and straightforward. See www.DATCAP.com
Learning Objectives: Participants will learn about using the DATCAP and ASI for economic evaluation of drug abuse treatment. An application at 5 residential programs will demonstrate the methods.
Keywords: Drug Abuse Treatment, Economic Analysis
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
Disclosure not received
Relationship: Not Received.
The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA