Estimating the economic cost of substance abuse treatment

Michael T. French, Kerry Anne McGeary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Few studies have estimated the economic costs and benefits of substance abuse treatment services. This paper introduces a data collection instrument and method for estimating the economic cost of substance abuse treatment programs. The Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP) is based on standard economic principles and the method has recently been tested in two drug abuse intervention studies. Findings from case studies at three treatment programmes are presented to demonstrate the feasibility and reliability of the instrument. The estimation methods and results can be used by treatment programmes for self-evaluation purposes and by researchers who are interested in performing cost-effectiveness or benefit-cost analyses of substance abuse services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-544
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Cost analysis
  • Drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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