The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4010.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #36744

Outpatient marijuana treatment for adolescents: Benefit-cost analysis of a multisite field experiment

Michael T. French, PhD1, M. Christopher Roebuck, MBA1, and Michael Dennis, PhD2. (1) Health Services Research Center, University of Miami, 1801 N.W. 9th Avenue, Highland Professional Building, Third Floor (D-93), Miami, FL 33136, 305-243-3490,, (2) Chestnut Health Systems, 720 West Chestnut, Bloomington, IL 61701

Objectives: Despite recent advances in the economic evaluation of adult substance abuse treatment, few studies have estimated the economic costs and benefits of adolescent addiction services. The present study conducted a benefit-cost analysis of several outpatient adolescent treatment approaches. Data Sources: The Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) study evaluated five structured treatments for cannabis-using adolescents. One of the approaches was implemented by all of the four treatment facilities collaborating in CYT; each of the other four approaches was implemented in two of the sites. Detailed assessment instruments were administered to each client at baseline and every three months thereafter through the 12-month follow-up. Study Design: The economic cost of each site-specific treatment was determined by the Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP). Economic benefits of treatment were estimated by first monetizing a series of treatment outcomes and then analyzing the magnitude of these monetized outcomes from baseline through the 12-month follow-up. Principal Findings: The average economic costs of the five types of outpatient treatments ranged from $90 to $313 per week and $839 to $3,279 per episode. The costs of substance abuse consequences significantly declined from baseline to the 12-month follow-up for four of the five treatments and three of the four sites. The lowest cost intervention had statistically similar economic benefits as the higher cost interventions. Conclusions: These results suggest that substance abuse interventions for adolescents can reduce social costs immediately. In addition, brief interventions should not be discounted due to their low cost and comparable economic benefits.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Adolescents, Economic Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Treatment and Aftercare

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA