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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2008 Jul;35(1):13-21. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

State policies matter: the case of outpatient drug treatment program practices.

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Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60608, USA.


This study examined relationships between state policy requirements governing outpatient substance abuse treatment services and reported outpatient treatment program practices. State policies effective as of February 1, 2003, and February 1, 2004, were collected and analyzed via primary legal research; data were validated by state officials (88% response rate; >90% validation rate). Treatment practice data were obtained from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services for the years 2003 and 2004. Multivariate analyses clustered by state were conducted, controlling for state, program, and state-aggregated client admission characteristics. Results indicated that treatment programs located in states with requirements for comprehensive substance abuse assessment, family counseling, substance abuse and infectious disease/sexually transmitted disease testing services, HIV/AIDS education, and aftercare services had significantly higher odds of offering such services (p values ranging from < .05 to < .001). This study presents new information regarding the potential role that state policy context may play in understanding treatment program practices.

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