The economic costs of quarterly monitoring and recovery management checkups for adults with chronic substance use disorders

Michael L. Dennis, Michael French, Kathryn McCollister, Christy K. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Recovery management checkups (RMCs) for clients with substance use disorders reduce the time from relapse to treatment reentry, increase treatment retention, and improve long-term outcomes. The objectives of this article are to calculate and compare the economic costs of providing outcome monitoring (OM) only with those of providing OM + RMC to help understand the feasibility of disseminating this model more widely. We estimate the total and incremental costs of OM and OM + RMC using data from a recently completed randomized controlled trial with adult chronic substance users (N = 446). Adding RMC to OM increased total intervention costs by about 50% per person per year ($707 to $1,283) and quarter ($177 to $321). It cost an average of $834 to identify a person in relapse and $2,699 to identify, link, and retain them in treatment. The increased costs of RMC are modest relative to the substantial societal costs of chronic substance users returning to regular use, crime, and other risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Controlled clinical trial
  • Economic cost
  • Recovery management
  • Substance abuse treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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