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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 Mar;46(3):306-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.10.003. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Interim versus standard methadone treatment: a benefit-cost analysis.

Author information

  • 1Friends Research Institute, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. Electronic address: rschwartz@friendsresearch.org.
  • 2Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
  • 3Friends Research Institute, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
  • 4Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
  • 5Friends Research Institute, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


A benefit-cost analysis was conducted as part of a clinical trial in which newly-admitted methadone patients were randomly assigned to interim methadone (IM; methadone without counseling) for the first 4 months of 12 months of methadone treatment or 12 months of methadone with one of two counseling conditions. Health, residential drug treatment, criminal justice costs, and income data in 2010 dollars were obtained at treatment entry, and 4- and 12-month follow-up from 200 participants and program costs were obtained. The net benefits of treatment were greater for the IM condition but controlling for the baseline variables noted above, the difference between conditions in net monetary benefits was not significant. For the combined sample, there was a pre- to post-treatment net benefit of $1470 (95% CI: -$625; $3584) and a benefit-cost ratio of 1.5 (95% CI: 0.8, 2.3), but using our conservative approach to calculating benefits, these values were not significant.

© 2014.


Benefit–cost; Interim methadone; Methadone treatment

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