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Changes in services and structure in community residential treatment facilities for substance abuse patients.

Timko C, Lesar M, Engelbrekt M, Moos RH. Changes in services and structure in community residential treatment facilities for substance abuse patients. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2000 Apr 1; 51(4):494-8.

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OBJECTIVE: This study examined the extent to which community residential facilities that contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to treat substance abuse patients are providing more services and structure to meet the needs of a client population with increasingly severe problems. METHODS: A nationwide sample of 249 community residential facilities with VA contracts was surveyed in 1995 and again in 1998. RESULTS: In 1998 facilities were more likely than they were in 1995 to have psychiatrists and psychologists available to patients as well as specialized counseling and psychoeducational, rehabilitation, and medical services. Facilities also provided more social and recreational activities, and more structure was provided by discouraging patients' choice of individual daily living patterns. In 1998 the facilities were more likely to admit dual diagnosis patients, those with substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders. Programs that changed toward accepting dual diagnosis patients had more services and structure than programs that consistently accepted only substance abuse patients. CONCLUSIONS: Community residential facilities that contract with VA are responding appropriately to an increasingly ill patient population by providing more services and structure.

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