6: Cost effectiveness of drug treatment
Drug addiction treatment is cost-effective in reducing drug use and its associated health and social costs. Treatment is less expensive than alternatives, such as not treating addicts or simply incarcerating addicts. For example, the average cost for 1 full year of methadone maintenance treatment is approximately $4,700 per patient, whereas 1 full year of imprisonment costs approximately $18,400 per person.
According to several conservative estimates, every $1 invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft alone. When savings related to health care are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1. Major savings to the individual and to society also come from significant drops in interpersonal conflicts, improvements in workplace productivity, and reductions in drug-related accidents.
Cite this article
NIDA. (2016, February 11). Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction-what-science-says
Explores the consequences of drug abuse on the brain and body and introduces the topics of prevention, and treatment.