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J Addict Dis. 2006;25(4):27-35.

Outpatient treatment engagement and abstinence rates following inpatient opioid detoxification.

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Va Puget Sound Health Care System, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seatte, WA 98195, USA.


Many patients with chronic opioid dependence are referred to drug-free outpatient treatment following inpatient detoxification even though successful outpatient treatment engagement and abstinence from opioids occur only in a minority of cases. This retrospective cohort analysis of medical records documents the post-discharge outcome in a treatment setting that maximizes the support during transition to abstinence-oriented outpatient care, with comprehensive social, medical and mental health services, including the availability of naltrexone. Participants were male veterans (N = 112) admitted at an urban VA medical center. Most patients (78%) successfully completed acute detoxification, 49% initiated naltrexone, and 76% accepted a VA aftercare plan. At 90-day follow-up, only 22% remained in aftercare, and < 3% had toxicology-verified abstinence from opioids. At one-year follow-up, 1 out of 5 had been readmitted for detoxification and 4.5% had died. Most patients successfully detoxified from opioids, but very few remained engaged and stabilized in abstinence-oriented outpatient treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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