The business of addiction treatment: A research agenda

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Oct;31(3):213-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2006.06.018. Epub 2006 Aug 14.


The social and economic costs of addiction are substantial and of great concern to society. Research in the past decade has led to promising therapies that appear to be highly effective but not widely diffused. This leads one to wonder if there is something about the structure, dynamics, or structure and dynamics of the addiction treatment industry that is getting in the way. However, there has been very little research in the areas of organization, finance, or management practices within the substance abuse treatment field-the kinds of issues that reduce the potential impact of addiction treatment industrywide. With this as background, this article introduces the Center for Organization and Management in Addiction Treatment (COMAT) and a special section on research in the "business of addiction treatment." Many other industries have experienced significant problems that are similar, in many respects, to those seen in substance abuse treatment, but research in leadership, innovation, investment, organization, and consolidation strategies has helped to overcome those problems. COMAT is dedicated to implementing and testing evidence-based methods from other industries to improve the outcomes performance and, ultimately, the clinical effectiveness of service providers in the addiction treatment field.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / economics
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / economics
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / organization & administration*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / economics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*