The economic costs of outpatient marijuana treatment for adolescents: Finds from a multi-site field experiment

Department of Health Administration and Policy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 01/2003; 97 Suppl 1(s1):84-97. DOI: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.97.s01.4.x
Source: PubMed


Despite recent advances in the economic evaluation of adult substance abuse treatment, information and basic research is lacking on the cost of adolescent substance abuse treatment. The present study conducted an economic cost analysis of several outpatient adolescent treatment approaches.
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 geographically and institutionally diverse treatment facilities collaborating in CYT; each of the other four approaches was implemented in two of the sites. Using the Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP), the economic cost of each site-specific treatment was determined.
The average economic costs of the five types of outpatient treatments ranged from $837 to $3334 per episode, and varied by both direct factors (e.g. hours of treatment, treatment retention) and indirect factors (e.g. cost of living, staff level, case-load variation).
These adolescent treatment cost estimates are examined in terms of their calculation, variability by condition, variability by site within condition and comparability with previous DATCAP results from outpatient drug-free programs for adults. Future research will integrate treatment outcomes and costs to complete cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost analyses of the five therapies.

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    • "The relative effectiveness of MET/CBT5 is particularly noteworthy because it is a brief and comparatively inexpensive intervention. As described above, the treatment consists of fi ve sessions designed to be administered over a 6-week period; an episode of treatment was estimated to cost between $1,100 and $1,600 (Dennis et al., 2004; French et al., 2002). This is generally shorter than the community-based programs, which lasted between 2 and 5 months (Battjes et al., 2004; Godley et al., 2004; Stevens et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate how adolescents with marijuana problems who received a research-based treatment (five sessions of motivational enhancement therapy plus cognitive behavioral therapy [MET/CBT5]) in an experimental setting would have fared had they received exemplary community-based outpatient treatment. Twelve-month outcomes representing six domains (substance use problems, substance use frequency, emotional problems, illegal activities, recovery, and institutionalization) were assessed for youth who received MET/CBT5 in the Cannabis Youth Treatment study and youth who received outpatient treatment from one of three community-based programs selected for evidence of efficacy. Groups were matched on pretreatment characteristics using a propensity score weighting strategy. Youth who received MET/CBT5 exhibited greater reductions in substance use frequency, substance use problems, and illegal behaviors 12 months after treatment entry than had they entered the community based outpatient programs. Results showed no evidence that youth who received MET/CBT5 would have fared better with respect to emotional problems, the likelihood of being institutionalized, or achieving a "recovery" status at 12 months had they received community-based treatments. The community-based treatments used in this study have not been assessed relative to "treatment as usual" but were selected as "exemplary" models of adolescent treatment. There is no evidence in this study that these exemplary programs yielded superior 12-month outcomes for the treatment of adolescents with marijuana problems; youth receiving MET/CBT5 experienced greater reductions in substance use and illegal activities. Thus, MET/CBT5 may be a promising treatment for community-based providers to adopt to treat these clients.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
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    • "Costs were reported in French et al. (2002) and used by Dennis et al. for cost-effectiveness analysis purposes. The purpose of the CYT was to develop short-term models of outpatient treatment and to execute field trials evaluating the cost, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of those treatments. "
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    ABSTRACT: In order to compete in a financially sensitive health care system, family systems-based treatments must demonstrate effective clinical results as well as cost-effectiveness. Cost-effectiveness research can demonstrate to health care insurers and policy makers which treatments are viable options for implementation. The present literature review identified eight cost-effectiveness family-based substance abuse treatment studies. The results suggest that certain family-based treatments are cost-effective and warrant consideration for inclusion in health care delivery systems.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
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    • "Treatment costs are often understudied and can vary significantly. For example, the average cost of a single episode of outpatient treatment for marijuana, one of the more prevalent drugs of abuse among U.S. adolescents (Johnston et al., 2005), can range from $837 to $3,334 (French et al., 2002). The U.S. Department of Justice reports that approximately 30,000 rural Indiana residents required publicly funded substance-abuse treatment in 1998 alone (National Drug Intelligence Center, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Public health officials in the United States have battled alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use among adolescents for the past few decades, but only in 2002 did they begin to see a decline in rates of use. ATOD use and abuse are associated with numerous problems, including criminal behavior and increased adolescent morbidity and mortality rates. Researchers have sought to identify best-practice procedures for ATOD prevention; the state of Indiana has a strong ATOD prevention system in place that has the potential to serve as a model for other U.S. localities because of its best-practice approach to public health services. This article outlines the activities of the Indiana Prevention Resource Center to provide an example to strengthen public health professionals' ability to prevent ATOD use and abuse and to provide for a healthy adolescent population.
    Full-text · Article · May 2008 · Health Promotion Practice
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