Benefits of Addiction Treatment

Data concerning addiction treatment and how it is relates to the cost benefit of addiction treatment is limited. Even so, the research suggests that there is a major financial benefit to addiction recovery treatment. Addiction treatment has been shown to have a benefit-cost ratio of 7:11 .   The drop in cost of drug and alcohol abuse related crimes where among the largest savings. Studies conducted in California, New York, and Washington state’s conclude that for every $100,000 spent on addiction treatment, $487,0002 of health care costs and $700,0003 of crime costs were shown to be avoided. Every $1 spent on addiction treatment saves $7 in crime and criminal justice costs. According to the National Institute of Drug Addiction’s Principles of Addiction Treatment published in 1999, when researcher’s added health care savings, the savings-to-cost ratio increased to 12:1.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Cost Effects Families

Recent studies conclude health care costs are higher for families with a person who struggle with addiction problem than for other similar families.  As the U.S. economy faces unsustainable escalations in health care costs, we need to ensure that needed substance use disorder treatment and recovery programs help reduce both health care expenditures and societal costs. While relieving enormous physical and psychological burdens placed on families, treatment can also diminish the huge financial consequences that substance abuse imposes on employers and taxpayers.

The publication Cost Offset of Treatment Services presents facts showing that accessible and effective community-based alcohol and drug treatment is essential to reducing a society’s financial burden from problems associated with drug use.

Read more about addiction treatment.

1Ettner, S.L., D Huang, et al (2006).  “Benefit-cost in the California treatment outcome project:  Does substance abuse treatment ‘pay for itself’?” Health Services Research, 41(1):192-213.

2Hartz, D.T., P. Meel, et al. (1999). “A cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of contingency contracting-enhanced methadone detoxification.” American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 25(2)::207-18.

3NIDA, Principles of Addiction Treatment, 1999.

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