The relative contribution of outcome domains in the total economic benefit of addiction interventions: a review of first findings

Authors

  • Kathryn E. McCollister,

    Corresponding author
    1. Health Services Research Center and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (D93), University of Miami, Miami, FL and
      Kathryn E. McCollister
      University of Miami (D93)
      Department of Epidemiology and Public
      Health,
      1801 NW 9th Avenue
      Third Floor, Miami
      Florida 33136
      USA
      Tel: (305) 243 3479
      Fax: (305) 243 6436
      E-mail: kmccolli@med.miami.edu
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  • Michael T. French

    1. Department of Sociology, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
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Kathryn E. McCollister
University of Miami (D93)
Department of Epidemiology and Public
Health,
1801 NW 9th Avenue
Third Floor, Miami
Florida 33136
USA
Tel: (305) 243 3479
Fax: (305) 243 6436
E-mail: kmccolli@med.miami.edu

ABSTRACT

Aims  This paper provides a focused summary of the relative contribution of addiction intervention outcomes to total economic benefit, based upon a compilation of published economic studies from the United States.

Design  The relevant literature was searched extensively, and 11 economic studies were selected for review.

Setting  The selected addiction interventions address both alcohol use/abuse and illicit drug use/abuse and represent various treatment modalities, including a brief physician intervention and long-term residential programs.

Participants  Study participants included community-based drug users, pregnant and/or parenting women, problem drinkers, and criminal offenders.

Measurements  These studies estimated the economic benefits of an addiction intervention(s) in terms of one or more of the following outcome domains: criminal activity, health services utilization, employment earnings, and expenditures on illicit drugs and alcohol.

Findings  The primary finding of this review was that avoided criminal activity was the greatest economic benefit of addiction interventions and contributed more, as a separate outcome domain, to the total economic benefit of addiction interventions than any other outcome domain. Reduced utilization of health care services was also a noteworthy economic benefit of addiction interventions.

Conclusions  This study provides a detailed exposition of economic benefits estimation and highlights the potential impact of individual outcomes, thus providing a useful resource for substance abuse researchers and administrators as they design and evaluate future interventions.

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