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Health care services use by adolescents with intakes into an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment program

We examined utilization and cost in the 1 year pre- and post-intake among a sample of adolescents (N=419) entering chemical dependency (CD) treatment. Multivariate analyses showed that these youth used significantly more medical services than a demographically matched sample of members without substance use (SU) problems. Their utilization and costs were higher than matched members, and they did not show the same reductions in post-treatment costs that adults do. This is of concern since it would appear that the medical and mental health problems of adolescents entering CD treatment may be so severe that there are no short-term reductions in post-treatment cost, including ER and hospitalizations.

Authors: Parthasarathy S; Weisner C

Am J Addict. 2006;15 Suppl 1:113-21.

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