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Increased caseloads in methadone treatment programs: implications for the delivery of services and retention in treatment

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JournalJournal of substance abuse treatment
DatePublished - Dec 2004
Issue number4
Volume27
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)301-6
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Changes in caseload and in the provision of counseling and comprehensive services were examined among 27 outpatient methadone programs across England between 1995 and 1999. The number of patients treated at the programs doubled during this time and average waiting times increased. More patients presented for treatment with alcohol and stimulant problems, dual diagnosis, and involvement in the Criminal Justice System. Provision of individual counseling and comprehensive services was high at both points, although services for family/relationship problems were reduced at followup. Changes were reported in disciplinary procedures. Drug positive urine tests were more likely to result in loss of patient privileges, and there was a significant increase in discharges for breaking program rules, missing appointments, and consuming alcohol. The study allows only tentative conclusions to be drawn, but these changes may be indicative of increased pressures placed on the programs and their staff.

    Research areas

  • Case Management, Delivery of Health Care, England, Female, Humans, Male, Methadone, Narcotics, Opioid-Related Disorders, Patient Dropouts, Time Factors, Workload

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