The cost of residential addiction treatment in public housing

Pierre Kébreau Alexandre, M. Christopher Roebuck, Michael T. French, Maryann Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cost of providing addiction treatment services in a variety of settings is useful information for program administrators, policy makers, and researchers. This study estimates the economic costs of providing substance abuse treatment services at Safeport, a three-phase residential treatment program focusing on addicted women living in public housing. Economic (opportunity) costs are estimated for each phase separately and for the complete program. Results indicate that the total cost of providing treatment services at Safeport in 2001 was $1,325,235. This total cost comprises $549,737 for stabilization or early abstinence (Phase I), $400,098 for relapse prevention and self-sufficiency (Phase II), and $375,400 for independent living preparation and long-term recovery (Phase III). Average daily census (number of clients/families on a typical day) was just over 11 clients/families in each phase or 34 clients/families for the entire program. The average length of stay in the three phases of the program was 12 weeks for Phase I, 20 weeks for Phase II, 18 weeks for Phase III, and 50 weeks overall. The average weekly cost per client amounted to $930 for Phase I, $677 for Phase II, $635 for Phase III, and $748 over the full program. The average cost per treatment episode amounted to $11,163 for Phase I, $13,541 for Phase II, $11,435 for Phase III, and $36,136 for the complete program. Future research should compare these cost estimates with corresponding outcome data from Safeport to perform a comprehensive economic evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Addiction treatment services
  • Residential treatment program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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