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The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States - 1992

Table 4.13

Health and Other Services for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, 1992

Specific Birth Defect

Annual Cost of Treatment

Length of Treatment Period

Percent in FAS

Population Served

Total Cost (millions)

Prenatal growth retardation

Neonatal intensive care: 7 days at $2,000/day

Once, first year

80.0%

6,365

$89.1

Postnatal growth retardation

Hospital evaluation, $2,357

Once, first year

80.0%

6,365

$15.0

Audiological defects

Neonatal screening, $97

Once, first year

100.0%

7,956

$0.8

AVR test, $263

Once, first year

56.0%

4,455

$1.2

Acoustic impedance test, $51

Once, first year

56.0%

4,455

$0.2

Serous otitis media

Surgery, $1,315, incl. recovery

Once, first year

81.0%

6,444

$8.5

Midsensorineural hearing loss

Hearing aid evaluation, $124

Once by 12 yrs.

27.0%

2,205

$0.3

Hearing aids, $750

Once by 12 yrs.

27.0%

2,205

$1.7

Hearing aid check, $230

Once by 12 yrs.

27.0%

2,205

$0.5

Hearing aid orientation, $81

Once by 12 yrs.

27.0%

2,205

$0.2

Minimal brain dysfunction

Special education: one teacher plus one 7-hour educational assistance per 10 students at $5,650/year

Ages 5—18

53.0%

52,955

$299.2

Mid-moderate mental retardation

Special education: one teacher plus one 7-hour and one 4-hour educational assistance per 7.5 students at $7,790/year

Ages 5—21

18.0%

20,661

$161.0

Home care, $32,850/year

Ages 22—65

14.4%

20,751

$681.7

Residential care, $36,500/year

Ages 22—65

3.6%

5,188

$189.4

Severe mental retardation

Residential care, $36,500/ year

Ages 5—65

5.0%

12,945

$472.5

Cleft palate

Series of operations plus followup for hearing and speech, $20,000

Once by 15 yrs.

12.5%

990

$19.8

Speech therapy at $35/session, weekly

One year between ages 5 and 15

12.5%

997

$1.8

Neurotube

Surgery, at $10,312

Once by 10 yrs.

1.8%

150

$1.5

TOTAL $1,944.2

Sources: Previous studies of the costs of treating FAS: Russell (1980); Harwood and Napolitano (1985); Rice et al. (1990); Abel and Sokol (1987, 1991a,b). Population data: U.S. Bureau of the Census (1994).
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Cost does not account for mandatory Federal early intervention programs for alcohol- and drug-exposed infants and toddlers, ages 2 to 4. Prevalence in FAS population is the proportion who need services. Somewhat fewer persons actually receive needed services, although there are no data available at present to estimate the proportion of care delivered versus needed.


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