Program evaluation research has a long tradition in health care and many evaluation methods are scientifically advanced and empirically tested. However, program evaluation of substance abuse interventions is a relatively new science, especially regarding estimation of economic costs and benefits. The dearth of both theoretical and empirical economic evaluation studies is particularly unfortunate for substance abuse programs because contemporary funding sources (i.e., insurance companies, managed care organizations, State legislatures, national government, foundations) are demanding that these programs demonstrate positive net benefits. With little guidance on how to conduct or interpret economic analyses, these programs are at a distinct disadvantage for securing competitive health care dollars. Given the great need for economic evaluation studies in the substance abuse literature, the proposed application will complete the following broad aims. 1. Develop and improve scientifically rigorous yet practical economic evaluation methods that can be readily adapted to various types of drug abuse interventions, particularly treatment and prevention programs. 2. Test the practicality and scientific integrity of these economic evaluation methods using data from currently funded drug abuse research studies that do not have a structured or advanced economic analysis component. The proposed study would provide support for the investigators to continue a productive research program on the economics of substance abuse by committing resources to the important task of methods development and testing. The research and policy significance of this application is immediate and widespread. A majority of substance abuse researchers and practitioners are convinced that most structured substance abuse programs/interventions are effective and cost-effective relative to other health (e.g., brief counseling, self-help groups) and non-health (e.g., legal sanctions, coercion programs) alternatives. However, to guarantee their survival in today's health care environment, substance abuse programs/interventions must demonstrate their economic value through rigorous economic analyses that will generate quantitative evidence for clients, public officials, and third-party payers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Cartwright, William S
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Miami School of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
French, Michael T; Zavala, Silvana K; McCollister, Kathryn E et al. (2008) Cost-effectiveness analysis of four interventions for adolescents with a substance use disorder. J Subst Abuse Treat 34:272-81
French, Michael T; Drummond, Michael (2005) A research agenda for economic evaluation of substance abuse services. J Subst Abuse Treat 29:125-37
Zavala, Silvana K; French, Michael T; Henderson, Craig E et al. (2005) Guidelines and challenges for estimating the economic costs and benefits of adolescent substance abuse treatments. J Subst Abuse Treat 29:191-205
Dismuke, Clara E; French, Michael T; Salome, Helena J et al. (2004) Out of touch or on the money: Do the clinical objectives of addiction treatment coincide with economic evaluation results? J Subst Abuse Treat 27:253-63
French, Michael T; Roebuck, M Christopher; McLellan, A Thomas (2004) Cost estimation when time and resources are limited: the Brief DATCAP. J Subst Abuse Treat 27:187-93
Sindelar, Jody L; Jofre-Bonet, Mireia; French, Michael T et al. (2004) Cost-effectiveness analysis of addiction treatment: paradoxes of multiple outcomes. Drug Alcohol Depend 73:41-50
McCollister, Kathryn E; French, Michael T (2003) The relative contribution of outcome domains in the total economic benefit of addiction interventions: a review of first findings. Addiction 98:1647-59
French, Michael T; Roebuck, M Christopher; Dennis, Michael L et al. (2003) Outpatient marijuana treatment for adolescents. Economic evaluation of a multisite field experiment. Eval Rev 27:421-59
Salome, Helena J; French, Michael T; Miller, Michael et al. (2003) Estimating the client costs of addiction treatment: first findings from the client drug abuse treatment cost analysis program (Client DATCAP). Drug Alcohol Depend 71:195-206
Roebuck, M Christopher; French, Michael T; McLellan, A Thomas (2003) DATStats: results from 85 studies using the Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program. J Subst Abuse Treat 25:51-7

Showing the most recent 10 out of 24 publications