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Detoxification history and two-year outcomes of substance use disorder treatment and mutual-help group participation

Timko C, Bonn-Miller MO, McKellar JD, Ilgen MA. Detoxification history and two-year outcomes of substance use disorder treatment and mutual-help group participation. Journal of drug issues. 2014 Jan 1; 44(1):4-21.

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Little is known about detoxification (detox) history as a risk factor for poor treatment outcomes among dually diagnosed (substance use and other mental health disorders) patients. We compared patients with a detox history with those who had never received detox on baseline characteristics, subsequent treatment and mutual-help group participation, and substance use and related outcomes at 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year follow-ups. Having a detox history was associated with poorer status at treatment intake, but detoxed patients were functioning as well as never-detoxed patients on alcohol and drug use severity 2 years later. However, having a detox history at baseline was associated with poorer psychological and legal functioning at follow-ups. Assessing detox history in mental health programs would be feasible to implement routinely. Targeting more comprehensive mental health, case management, and 12-step facilitation services to dually diagnosed patients with a history of detox may improve mental health and criminal involvement status.

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