Ranking Life-Saving Interventions
A study by Tengs et al from Harvard School of Public Health entitled "Five Hundred Life Saving Interventions" provides a perspective in a larger health context. The authors compute the cost per year of life saved for a variety of behavioral, medical, and safety interventions. The substance abuse treatments fall in the most favorable category of the 500 interventions. All saved money and saved lives.
Source: Tengs, T.O., Adams, M.E., Pliskin, J.S., Safran, D.G., Siegel, J.E., Weinstein, M.C., Graham, J.D. (June 1995), "Five-Hundred Life-Saving Interventions and Their Cost-Effectiveness," Risk Analysis, 15(3): 369-90.