Influence of homelessness and stabilization programs on recurrent substance use after detoxification
Kertesz, Stefan Geoffrey
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Objectives: (1) To examine whether homelessness predicted earlier resumption of substance use after inpatient detoxification; and (2) to seek evidence concerning the impact of post-detoxification stabilization programs on homeless and housed persons in relation to recurrent substance use. Data Sources/Study Setting: Prospective six-month cohort of 470 addicted persons entering a publicly-funded urban detoxification program. Study Design: Survival analysis methods were used to determine the association between homelessness, stabilization program use, and time to recurrent substance use. Data Collection/Extraction Methods: The main analyses rely on baseline and six month interviews using standardized instruments. Additional analyses include interviews obtained after six months, and statewide administrative records of recurrent detoxification. Principal Findings: Among 254 persons available at six months, 76% reported recurrent substance use. Homeless persons not using stabilization programs experienced the greatest hazard of return to substance use after detoxification, Hazard Ratio (HR) 1.26, 95% CI (0.88,1.80). Homeless persons using these programs had the lowest rate of return to substance use: HR 0.61, 95% CI (0.40,0.94). A similar impact of stabilization programs was not seen among housed subjects. Analyses suggest that subjects available at six months were representative of the entire cohort. Conclusions: Post-detoxification stabilization programs were associated with improved outcomes for homeless addicted persons.
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