A Literature Review of Cost-Benefit Analyses for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence

Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S1, Canada
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.06). 08/2011; 8(8):3351-64. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8083351
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to conduct a literature review of cost-benefit studies on pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy treatments of alcohol dependence (AD). A literature search was performed in multiple electronic bibliographic databases. The search identified seven psychotherapy studies from the USA and two pharmacotherapy studies from Europe. In the psychotherapy studies, major benefits are typically seen within the first six months of treatment. The benefit-cost ratio ranged from 1.89 to 39.0. Treatment with acamprosate was found to accrue a net benefit of 21,301 BEF (528 €) per patient over a 24-month period in Belgium and lifetime benefit for each patient in Spain was estimated to be Pta. 3,914,680 (23,528 €). To date, only a few studies exist that have examined the cost-benefit of psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy treatment of AD. Most of the available treatment options for AD appear to produce marked economic benefits.

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Available from: Svetlana Popova
    • "It provides benefits both to the drinker and to those around them. Treatment of alcohol dependence is also estimated to save governments money, with a benefit : cost ratio of 1.9–39.0:1.0 [5]. However, health professionals and Indigenous communities have often advised of the unmet demand for alcohol treatment services and the difficulties Indigenous Australians face in accessing these. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol-related harms cause great concern to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) communities in Australia as well as challenges to policy makers. Treatment of alcohol use disorders forms one component of an effective public health response. While alcohol dependence typically behaves as a chronic relapsing condition, treatment has been shown to be both effective and cost-effective in improving outcomes. Provision of alcohol treatment services should be based on accurate assessment of treatment need. In this paper, we examine the likely extent of the gap between voluntary alcohol treatment need and accessibility. We also suggest potential approaches to improve the ability to assess unmet need. Existing methods of assessing the treatment needs of Indigenous Australians are limited by incomplete and inaccurate survey data and an over-reliance on existing service use data. In addition to a shortage of services, cultural and logistical barriers may hamper access to alcohol treatment for Indigenous Australians. There is also a lack of services funded to a level that allows them to cope with clients with complex medical and physical comorbidity, and a lack of services for women, families and young people. A lack of voluntary treatment services also raises serious ethical concerns, given the expansion of mandatory treatment programmes and incarceration of Indigenous Australians for continued drinking. The use of modelling approaches, linkage of administrative data sets and strategies to improve data collection are discussed as possible methods to better assess treatment need. [Brett J, Lee K, Gray D, Wilson S, Freeburn B, Harrison K, Conigrave K. Mind the gap: what is the difference between alcohol treatment need and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians? Drug Alcohol Rev 2015]. © 2015 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.
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    • "Treating ARDs may lead to a decrease in total health care utilization, thus producing significant economic benefits. Although only a few studies have examined specifically the cost–benefit of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions for ARDs, especially for alcohol dependence, most of the available treatment options produce marked economic benefits, as recently reviewed by Popova et al. (2011). Experience from Australia (Cobiac et al., 2009), the USA (Zarkin et al., 2010) and other countries (Tariq et al., 2009; Moraes et al., 2010) show that alcohol treatments can lead to long-term social benefits, including reduced costs associated with health care, arrests, and motor vehicle accidents. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol-related disorders (ARDs) have become an increasing mental health and social challenge in China. Research from China may provide important clinical information for researchers and clinicians around the world. However, most of the Chinese research on ARDs has only been published in Chinese language journals. This article summarizes publications related to treatments for ARDs found in the Chinese literature. A descriptive study based on literature identified from searches of the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (1979-2012), Pubmed databases and hand-picked references with emphasis on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). More than 1500 Chinese language papers on treatment for ARDs were found and ~110 were selected. Many medications used in the Western countries (e.g. disulfiram and acamprosate) are not available in China, and no drugs have been officially approved for alcohol dependence. TCM approaches (including acupuncture, electroacupunture and herbals) have played a role in treatment for ARDs with some positive results. These unique methods are reviewed and the need for additional controlled studies is noted. Currently, very limited facilities, medications or programs are available for patients with ARDs in China, thus much improvement is needed in the field, including setting up intervention/treatment programs.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Alcohol and Alcoholism

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