SAMHSA Report Shows Cost of Addiction Treatment

A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) calculates that the average cost for treatment of alcohol or other drug addiction in outpatient facilities was $1,433 per course of treatment in 2002.

The report, “Alcohol and Drug Services Study Cost Study,” concluded that residential treatment cost $3,840 per admission. For outpatient methadone treatment, the 2002 cost was $7,415 per admission.

“Treatment is a bargain compared to expenditures for jails, foster care for children, and health complications that often accompany addiction,” said SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie. “Rarely do we have public initiatives that can save society as much as substance-abuse treatment and recovery support services. Treatment provides an opportunity for recovery for the individual, better homes for children, and improved safety for our communities.”

According to the report, personnel expenses were the single largest component of all costs for all types of treatment, accounting for 63 percent of non-hospital residential care costs, 65 percent of the cost of outpatient methadone treatment, and 79 percent of the cost of outpatient non-methadone treatment.

The report was based on site visits to 280 facilities nationally, as well as a telephone survey of 2,395 treatment facilities.