Facilitating Outpatient Treatment Entry Following Detoxification for Injection Drug Use: A Multisite Test of Three Interventions

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Abstract

A multisite, randomized trial within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) was conducted to test 3 interventions to enhance treatment initiation following detoxification: (a) a single session, therapeutic alliance intervention (TA) added to usual treatment; (b) a 2-session, counseling and education, HIV/HCV risk reduction intervention (C&E), added to usual treatment; and (c) treatment as usual (TAU) only. Injection drug users (n = 632) enrolled in residential detoxification at 8 community treatment programs were randomized to 1 of the 3 study conditions. TA participants reported entering outpatient treatment sooner and in greater numbers than TAU participants. Reported treatment entry for C&E fell between TA and TAU with no significant differences between C&E and the other conditions. There were no differences among the interventions in retention, as measured by weeks of outpatient treatment for all participants who reported treatment entry. Alliance building interventions appear to be effective in facilitating transfer from detoxification to outpatient treatment, but additional treatment engagement interventions may be necessary to improve retention.

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