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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1996 Feb;22(1):29-39.

Patient factors related to early attrition from an outpatient cocaine research clinic.

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College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, USA.


The dropout rates among cocaine abusers in outpatient treatment programs have averaged 55%. We sought to find patient predictor variables associated with early attrition. Dropouts were more likely to be African-American or Hispanic-American, younger, with an earlier onset of substance abuse. Among minorities, those with more education were less likely to drop out. Patients who were less educated and smoked or injected cocaine were particularly prone to discontinue treatment prematurely. The implications of these findings, and promising interventions for reducing the dropout problem, are discussed.

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