Organizational and Financing Factors and Patient Characteristics Affect how Substance Abuse Treatment is Delivered

Analysis of the substance abuse treatment delivery system

Researchers from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management analyzed data from a national survey of substance abuse treatment facilities.

The goal was to examine how differences in the financing and organization of individual treatment facilities, as well as the personal characteristics of the clients served, may influence the duration and success of treatment.

Key Findings

  • Chronically unemployed clients who received job counseling as part of their substance abuse treatment stayed in treatment longer and were more likely to find employment after discharge than were those who did not receive job counseling.

  • Facilities that treat only adolescents and young adults tend to offer more support services, emphasize academic services over employment services and have lower client-to-staff ratios.

  • Clients who have a mental disorder in addition to their substance use problem were more likely to receive treatment from facilities that had a high proportion of these "dual diagnosis" patients.

  • Hospital inpatient facilities were the most likely of all substance abuse treatment facilities to have managed care contracts; outpatient methadone clinics were the least likely to have such contracts.

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