Public Release: 

Integrated medical/substance abuse treatment increase odds patients continue treatment

NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions followed the course of 120 adult patients engaged in active substance abuse and who had been hospitalized for treatment of medical conditions. To be eligible for the study, the patients had to report that they wanted to stop using drugs.

Seventy-nine of the patients were given their required medical care, integrated with intensive substance abuse treatment. Forty-one patients received only standard medical care. Upon completion of their hospitalization, more than half (50.6 percent) of the patients who had received the integrated medical/substance abuse treatment entered outpatient substance abuse programs, compared with 2.4 percent of the comparison patients.

The study was partially funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

WHAT IT MEANS: Hospitals can play an important role in providing needed drug treatment services and referrals to patients with drug-related problems.

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This study was published in the May 2002 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, which focused on substance abuse.

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