Substance use outcomes following treatment : findings from the Australian Patient Pathways Study

MANNING, Victoria, GARFIELD, Joshua, BEST, David, BERENDS, Lynda, ROOM, Robin, MUGAVIN, Janette, LARNER, Andrew, LAM, Tina, BUYCX, Penny, ALLSOP, Steve and LUBMAN, Dan (2017). Substance use outcomes following treatment : findings from the Australian Patient Pathways Study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 51 (2), 177-189.

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Background and Aims: Our understanding of patient pathways through specialist Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment and broader health/welfare systems in Australia remains limited. This study examined how treatment outcomes are influenced by continuity in specialist AOD treatment, engagement with non-AOD community services, and mutual aid, as well as exploring differences between clients who present with a primary alcohol problem compared to those presenting with a primary drug issue. Method: In a prospective, multi-site treatment outcome study, 796 clients from 21 AOD services in Victoria and Western Australia completed a baseline interview between January 2012 and January 2013. 555 (70%) completed follow-up assessment of subsequent service use and AOD use outcomes 12-months later. Results: Just over half of the participants (52.0%) showed reliable reductions in use of, or abstinence from, their primary drug of concern. This was highest among clients who reported meth/amphetamine (66%) as their primary drug of concern and lowest among those who reported alcohol (47%), with 31% achieving abstinence from all drugs of concern. Continuity of specialist AOD care was associated with higher rates of abstinence than fragmented AOD care. Different predictors of treatment success emerged for clients with a primary drug problem as compared to those with a primary alcohol problem; mutual aid attendance (OR=2.5) and community service engagement (OR=2.0) for clients with alcohol as PDOC, and completion of the index treatment (OR=2.8) and continuity in AOD care (OR=1.8) for those with primary drug issues. Conclusion: This is the first multi-site Australian study to include treatment outcomes for alcohol and cannabis users, who represent 70% of treatment seekers in AOD services. The results suggest a substantial proportion of clients respond positively to treatment, but that clients with alcohol as their primary drug problem may require different treatment pathways, compared to those with illicit drug issues, to achieve desirable outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Law Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 177-189
Depositing User: David Best
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2016 11:37
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 11:44

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