Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION: (provided by applicant)
A conventional view in the U.S. is that, ceteris paribus, individuals with a
behavioral health problem(s), such as drug addiction, consume excessive amounts
of health care relative to individuals who do not have a behavioral health
problem. Although little research has examined this issue employing quality
data or contemporary statistical methods, a few recent studies have
demonstrated that chronic drug users (i.e., weekly or more frequent use of
illicit drugs during the previous year) generally consume more expensive health
care (e.g., emergency room visits, inpatient hospital days), but less routine
and preventative care (e.g., outpatient clinic and physician visits) (French,
McGeary, et al., 2000; McGeary and French, 2000; French, et al., forthcoming).
According to one study conducted on chronic drug users in Miami, Florida
(French, McGeary, et al., 2000), the estimated differential in the cost of
health services utilization may amount to over $1,000 per year. Given the need
for current and nationally representative information on the type and cost of
health services utilization by drug abusers, this research application will
estimate differentials in utilization and cost of health services by chronic
drug users relative to non-chronic drug users and non-drug users using the most
recent public use file of the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (i.e.,
1999). The proposed secondary analysis study has important policy implications
because little scientific information is available on the utilization and cost
of health services by chronic drug users. Such information is crucial for
policy makers, substance abuse program personnel, and health care providers as
they consider and decide on addiction interventions. The research significance
is also high because recent studies have used contemporary health services
research methods to estimate the utilization and cost of health care for drug
users. However, since these studies have analyzed regional data, it is
important to determine whether the regional results are similar to estimates
derived from national data. Finally, the examination of chronic drug users
versus non-chronic drug users and all drug users contributes to the growing
recognition among substance abuse researchers and treatment providers that drug
users should not be treated as a 1 homogeneous group.
Effective start/end date3/15/022/28/05


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $339,330.00


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