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Study Cites Cost Benefit of Counseling Plus Drugs to Treat Alcohol Problems

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Combining behavioral interventions with acamprosate and naltrexone therapy for alcohol-dependent patients saved an estimated $3,800 per patient in societal costs compared to providing medical management alone, according to researchers who evaluated data from the COMBINE study.

The researchers also found that the cost savings from the combined therapies exceeded the initial cost of treatment within three years, according to a press release from RTI International. Societal savings included related healthcare costs and expenses related to arrests and motor-vehicle crashes.

Researchers from RTI, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University collaborated on the research, which focused on the COMBINE (Combined Pharmacotherapies and Behavioral Interventions) study.

The findings were published in the May 2010 issue of the journal Medical Care.

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