Economic Evaluation of Adolescent Drug Services

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Abstract)
Economic evaluation of adolescent drug abuse services is a largely unexplored
area of research. This study addresses a critical issue in the adolescent drug
abuse field - the relative costs and benefits of intensive outpatient family
therapy vs. residential services. Although research with adult substance
abusers suggests that intensive outpatient approaches may be more
cost-beneficial than residential services, no controlled study of this nature
with adolescent drug abusers has been conducted. The outpatient therapy is an
in-home, family-based intervention, Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT),
which has demonstrated efficacy in randomized trials in comparison to various
manualized outpatient modalities. The residential program is a social learning
theory oriented, peer group focused intervention, called the Adolescent
Treatment Program (ATP) at the Village, Inc. These two interventions are being
compared in a controlled efficacy trial within the University of Miami Center
for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse, which examines changes in
adolescents' drug use and comorbid symptoms from Intake to 18 months follow-up.
The study sample for the proposed economic evaluation consists of 120 dually
diagnosed adolescent drug abusers meeting ASAM criteria for residential
treatment and randomly assigned to one of the two interventions. Adolescents
and parents provide information on the youth's drug use and conduct problems as
part of their regularly scheduled assessments at Intake, 2 months, 4 months,
Discharge, 12 months and 18 months following Intake. In addition, adolescents
and their parents provide service utilization data at each assessment point
over the course of 18 months to determine the extent of services utilized by
the youth and their family members during and following treatment. Clinical
records from health, MH/SA, and juvenile justice agencies will be reviewed to
confirm the use of these services and to estimate the costs of service
utilization. The benefit-cost analysis will examine the costs of each
intervention and the societal benefits in relation to health, mental
health/substance abuse (MH/SA), juvenile justice (JJ), and school outcomes. In
accord with recommended strategies for economic evaluation studies of health
care interventions, we propose to examine outcomes from two important
perspectives: 1) societal and 2) state policy makers.
Effective start/end date4/5/013/31/05


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $303,000.00
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $375,145.00
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $378,750.00


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