Financing and cost of standard and enhanced methadone treatment

Cathy J. Bradley, Michael T. French, J. Valley Rachal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Although some national surveys of drug-abuse treatment have examined cost and financing issues, our study is one of the first to rigorously analyze the costs and financing of methadone treatment at the program level. Our findings are similar to those found at the national level for treatment cost but deviate significantly from the National Drug and Alcoholism Treatment Unit Survey (NDATUS) findings on funding sources. In addition to examining financing and total cost, we grouped resources into particular categories and examined variations at the client, program, regimen, and setting levels. Our specific findings show that public funding sources overwhelmingly support the programs examined; the average annual cost per client for standard methadone treatment was between $3,750 and $4,400; the marginal cost of providing enhanced treatment was between 5% and 6% of the total annual cost of standard treatment; and the average annual cost at the freestanding community-based programs was significantly different from the average annual cost at the hospital-based treatment program. Our results provide a treatment cost methodology along with a financial profile of treatment operations at three clinics that can be compared across programs and settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-442
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • cost
  • drug treatment
  • financing
  • funding
  • methadone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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