Substance Use Treatment: Societal Benefits Outweigh the Costs

As our economy is facing rising health care costs, the financial impact of treatment and recovery programs on society is more important than ever before. A recent publication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration called the Cost Offset of Treatment Services sheds some insights into how the benefits of substance use treatment far outweigh the costs.

These studies have found that accessible and effective community-based alcohol and drug treatment is essential to reducing societal costs and health care expenditures from problems associated with drug use.

Here are some findings from the publication:

  • Spending money on treatment has led to important health and public safety cost reductions in Washington. Reductions such as medical costs, state hospital expenses, likelihood of being arrested and likelihood of felony convictions.
  • Treated patients have been shown to reduce ER visits by 39%, hospital stays by 35% and total medical costs by 26%.
  • Employees treated for substance use have reduced absenteeism, reduced tardiness, lowered on-the-job injuries, fewer mistakes and disagreements with supervisors by 75%.


To learn more about the cost benefit of substance use treatment read the full publication of Cost Offset of Treatment Services.