Cost-effectiveness analysis of four interventions for adolescents with a substance use disorder

Michael French, Silvana K. Zavala, Kathryn McCollister, Holly B. Waldron, Charles W. Turner, Timothy J. Ozechowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use among adolescents in the United States continues to be a serious public health challenge. A variety of outpatient treatments for adolescent substance use disorders have been developed and evaluated. Although no specific treatment modality is effective in all settings, a number of promising adolescent interventions have emerged. As policy makers try to prioritize which programs to fund with limited public resources, the need for systematic economic evaluations of these programs is critical. The present study attempted a cost-effectiveness analysis of four interventions, including family-based, individual, and group cognitive behavioral approaches, for adolescents with a substance use disorder. The results indicated that treatment costs varied substantially across the four interventions. Moreover, family therapy showed significantly better substance use outcome compared to group treatment at the 4-month assessment, but group treatment was similar to the other interventions for substance use outcome at the 7-month assessment and for delinquency outcome at both the 4- and 7-month assessments. These findings over a relatively short follow-up period suggest that the least expensive intervention (group) was the most cost-effective. However, this study encountered numerous data and methodological challenges in trying to supplement a completed clinical trial with an economic evaluation. These challenges are explained and recommendations are proposed to guide future economic evaluations in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

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Substance-Related Disorders
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Family Therapy
Street Drugs
Financial Management
Therapeutics
Administrative Personnel
Health Care Costs
Tobacco
Outpatients
Public Health
Alcohols
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Clinical Trials
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • Adolescent substance use interventions
  • Adolescent treatment outcomes
  • Behavioral and family-based interventions
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cost-effectiveness analysis of four interventions for adolescents with a substance use disorder. / French, Michael; Zavala, Silvana K.; McCollister, Kathryn; Waldron, Holly B.; Turner, Charles W.; Ozechowski, Timothy J.

In: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Vol. 34, No. 3, 01.04.2008, p. 272-281.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

French, Michael ; Zavala, Silvana K. ; McCollister, Kathryn ; Waldron, Holly B. ; Turner, Charles W. ; Ozechowski, Timothy J. / Cost-effectiveness analysis of four interventions for adolescents with a substance use disorder. In: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2008 ; Vol. 34, No. 3. pp. 272-281.
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