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Laura J. Dunlap

Director, Behavioral Health Economics Program

Laura Dunlap, PhD, is experienced in data collection and econometric analysis; evaluations of substance abuse and health services interventions, including process, outcome, and cost estimation, cost-effectiveness analysis, and cost-benefit analysis; and public policy analysis. Dr. Dunlap is currently the project director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)-funded Access to Recovery cross-site evaluation. For the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she has evaluated different data collection methodologies that estimate costs of substance abuse treatment services and has developed a lifetime simulation model to estimate the total costs and benefits of heroin use and methadone treatment. Dr. Dunlap has published her findings in many peer-reviewed journals, including Health Services Research, Health Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, Applied Economics, the Journal of Public Health Policy, the Journal of Addictive Diseases, Justice Research and Policy, the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.


PhD, Health Policy and Administration, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; MA, Economics, University of Chicago; BA, Economics, University of Maryland, College Park.

Latest Publications

Zarkin, G.A., Cowell, A.J., Hicks, K.A., Mills, M.J., Belenko, S., Dunlap, L.J., et al. (2015). Lifetime benefits and costs of diverting substance-abusing offenders from state prison. Crime and Delinquency, 61 (6):829-850.
Mitchell, S.G., Schwartz, R.P., Kirk, A.S., Dusek, K., Oros, M., Hosler, C., Gryczynski, J., Barbosa, C., Dunlap, L., et al. (2015). SBIRT implementation for adolescents in urban federally qualified health centers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Advance Online Publication .
Zarkin, G.A., Cowell, A.J., Hicks, K.A., Mills, M.J., Belenko, S., Dunlap, L.J., et al. (2012). Benefits and costs of substance abuse treatment programs for state prison inmates: Results from a lifetime simulation model. Health Economics, 21 (6):633-652.
Lackner, J.M., Keefer, L., Jaccard, J., Firth, R., Brenner, D., Bratten, J., Dunlap, L.J., et al. (2012). The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Outcome Study (IBSOS): Rationale and design of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial with 12 month follow up of self- versus clinician-administered CBT for moderate to severe irritable bowel syndrome. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 33 (6):1293-1310.
Dunlap, L.J., Zarkin, G.A., Bray, J.W., Mills, M., Kivlahan, D.R., McKay, J.R., et al. (2010). Revisiting the cost-effectiveness of the COMBINE study for alcohol dependent patients: The patient perspective. Medical Care, 48 (4):306-313.
View all publications by Laura J. Dunlap (30)


  • Substance Abuse Economics
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Behaviors and Interventions