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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2008 Apr;34(3):326-32. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

Economic cost of the therapeutic workplace intervention added to methadone maintenance.

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Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Therapeutic workplace is a novel intervention that uses access to paid training and employment to reinforce drug abstinence within the context of standard methadone maintenance. We used the Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program as a standard method of estimating the economic costs of this intervention. In a 1-year period, the therapeutic workplace served 122 methadone maintenance clients who had a median length of stay of 22 weeks. The workplace maintained a mean daily census of 48 clients. The combined cost of methadone maintenance and the therapeutic workplace was estimated at US$362 per week. This cost is less than that of other treatments that might be used to promote abstinence in individuals who continue to use drugs during methadone treatment. Given prior evidence of effectiveness, these cost data may be useful to policy makers, social service agencies, and researchers interested in using or further developing the therapeutic workplace intervention.

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