Addiction treatment history, medical services utilization, and cost: A longitudinal analysis of problem drinkers

Pierre Kébreau Alexandre, Michael T. French, Helen Matzger, Constance Weisner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Few studies have examined the long-term patterns of health services utilization and cost for alcohol use disorders. This paper used data from baseline, 3-year, and 5-year follow-up interviews to compare utilization and cost of medical care services for problem drinkers who received chemical dependence treatment and those who did not. The analysis examined overnight hospital stays, emergency room visits, and medical office visits. The unadjusted analysis indicates that in the year immediately preceding each follow-up period, a significantly higher percentage of the chemical dependency treatment group stayed overnight at a hospital or used ER services. In terms of medical office visits, a significantly lower percentage of the treatment sample had office visits at the 5-year follow-up, hut otherwise no significant differences existed. Most of the significant differences between the two groups vanished when we controlled forcovariates. Researchers, policy makers, and clinicians could benefit from such information to develop alternative delivery models, formulate research initiatives, and determine areas for potential intervention and improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Cost
  • Health services utilization
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Problem drinkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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