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Benefit-cost analysis for substance use disorder services

See the report

Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) has released a report examining the benefits and costs associated with providing substance use prevention, treatment and recovery programs.

 MMB looked at the range of substance use disorder services across the state. MMB found that:

  • Most programs reduce substance use, improve health, enhance public safety and increase employment.
  • Services generate financial benefits through lower health care costs, reduced crime, stronger employment, more tax revenue from earnings and fewer instances of premature death.
Of the 117 prevention, treatment, recovery services identified in Minnesota, 74 were evidence-based, 37 were theory based or had mixed impacts and six remain to be proven. Of 18 services reviewed for benefits/costs, 17 have benefits that exceed the investment and seven have taxpayer benefits that exceed the investment. The analysis shows a return on investment of $0.20 to $20.60 for prevention, treatment and recovery services. Smoking cessation programs show a return ranging from $72.80 to $190.70.

 This analysis was part of the Results First Initiative at Minnesota Management and Budget, a bipartisan effort approved in the 2015 legislative session. The national recognized program uses high-quality research to estimate the extent to which publicly funded services generate cost-effective outcomes. For this analysis, MMB worked for nine months with a wide range of state, local and national partners.

 This analysis provides policy makers with valuable information on what programs are working and where the state should focus their investments. Investing in programs that demonstrate strong return on investments ensures maximum impact for those receiving services.
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