Methadone and Non Methadone Treatment of Persons Addicted to Opiates Results in Lower Health Care Costs and Reduced Arrests and Convictions

Jan 2004 |
Online Library
Washington State Supplemental Security Income Recipients

This analysis finds that treatment for opiate addiction lowers health care costs, and reduces the likelihood of rearrest or conviction. The overall cost offset of medical, mental health, and long-term care relative to the cost for providing chemical dependency treatment is substantial for clients addicted to opiates, regardless of the type of treatment. These cost offsets averaged -$732 per person per month for methadone treatment, and -$541 per person per month for non-methadone treatment. These monthly savings are much higher than the cost offsets associated with providing substance abuse treatment for those dependent on other substances, which average -$276 per person. The findings are drawn from a longitudinal study of 16,034 clients who received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits at some time between July 1997 and December 2001.

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