Valuing families’ preferences for drug treatment: a discrete choice experiment
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Addiction, 2019
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© 2019 Society for the Study of Addiction Background and Aims: The burden on family members of those who are dependent on illicit drugs is largely unidentified, despite the presence of significant negative financial, health and social impacts. This makes it difficult to provide appropriate services and support. This study aimed to assess the preferences for treatment attributes for heroin dependence among family members affected by the drug use of a relative and to obtain a measure of the intangible economic benefit. Design: Discrete choice experiment. Data were analysed using mixed logit which accounted for repeated responses. Setting: Australia. Participants: Eligible participants were Australian residents aged 18+ years with a relative with problematic drug use. Complete data on 237 respondents were analysed; 21 invalid responses were deleted. Measurements: Participant preference for likelihood of staying in treatment, family conflict, own health status, contact with police and monetary contribution to a charitable organization providing treatment. Findings: All attributes were significant, and the results suggest that there was a preference for longer time in treatment, less family discord, better own health status, less likelihood of their relative encountering police and, while they were willing to contribute to a charity for treatment to be available, they prefer to pay less, not more. In order of relative importance, participants were willing to pay an additional A$4.46 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.33–5.60] for treatment which resulted in an additional 1% of heroin users staying in treatment for longer than 3 months, A$42.00 (95% CI = 28.30–55.69) to avoid 5 days per week of family discord, A$87.94 (95% CI = 64.41–111.48) for treatment options that led to an improvement in their own health status and A$129.66 (95% CI = 53.50–205.87) for each 1% decline in the chance of police contact. Conclusions: Drug treatment in Australia appears to have intangible benefits for affected family members. Families are willing to pay for treatment which reduces family discord, improves their own health, increases time in treatment and reduces contact with police.
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