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