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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2011 Mar;40(2):165-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2010.09.007. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Characteristics and 9-month outcomes of discharged methadone maintenance clients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


This study is a secondary data analysis of a clinical trial assessing the effectiveness of outreach case management (OCM) in linking discharged methadone patients back into treatment. The original trial assessed the effectiveness of the OCM intervention compared to a passive referral among methadone clients who needed treatment postdischarge but had not reengaged. The purpose of this study was to assess the characteristics and long-term outcomes of all clients who were discharged from methadone maintenance treatment including those who had reengaged in treatment. A total of 230 methadone clients were interviewed 3 months and then again at 9 months following discharge from treatment. Compared with participants who needed treatment but had not reengaged (NoTx: 56%), those who had successfully reenrolled in treatment (Tx; 44%) were more likely to be female, not married, and unemployed; had a longer history of sedative use; reported more psychiatric hospitalizations; and were originally enrolled in a community-based rather than a Veterans Administration program. Despite having more severe problems, the Tx group had fewer opioid-positive urines and reported less IV drug use at 9 months postdischarge compared to the NoTx group. The findings highlight the importance of rapid treatment reengagement.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Company. All rights reserved.

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