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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2002 Jan-Mar;34(1):87-95.

Effects of treatment history and centralized intake on drug treatment outcomes.

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Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, 94118, USA.


This study assesses differences between first-time treatment clients (n=90) and repeat treatment clients (n=361), including whether entering treatment through a central intake unit affects outcomes differently for the two groups. Interview data were collected at baseline, one-month and 12-month follow-up. Study groups were similar in gender, race and age, but repeat treatment participants were more educated, more likely to primarily use heroin and more likely to have ever injected drugs. First-time treatment clients were more likely to have been required to enter treatment, but less likely to have applied to another program or to be in the program they desired. First-time treatment clients were also more likely to be in outpatient or day treatment, and less likely to be in residential treatment. Problem severity decreased for both groups over time, with no significant differences between groups. There was one significant interaction effect of study group and length of stay on social problem severity, such that longer stays in treatment led to a greater reduction in social problems for repeat treatment clients. Route of treatment entry (CIU/non-CIU) was not associated with problem severity nor change in problem severity over time for either study group.

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