Estimating the cost-effectiveness of local alcohol and drug treatment

Guidance for commissioners on how to estimate the cost-effectiveness of local spending on treatment for alcohol and drug misuse.


Alcohol and drugs treatment commissioning tool: guidance document

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


The guide explains how commissioners can use the alcohol and drug treatment commissioning tool to support service improvement.

Local authority commissioners can use the tool to:

  • consider how well they are meeting local treatment needs
  • identify potential ways of improving local cost-effectiveness
  • inform the planning of service provision

The tool includes:

  • a cost calculator
  • cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) for estimating local spend on treatment interventions
  • prevalence data for alcohol, opiate and crack cocaine use
  • estimates of needs having been met
  • a future scenario planning function

Visit to access the adult alcohol and drug treatment commissioning tool - you will need to login to download the tool.

You can also find guidance on and access to other economic tools:

The SPOT gives a broad overview of spend and outcomes on a range of public health interventions. The SPOT does not assess the relative cost-effectiveness of different interventions or how to get the best value for money. You should therefore use the SPOT alongside the alcohol and drug treatment commissioning tool.

Published 27 September 2017