The relative impact of waiting time and treatment entry on drug and alcohol use

BEST, David, NOBLE, A., RIDGE, G., GOSSOP, M., FARRELL, M. and STRANG, J. (2002). The relative impact of waiting time and treatment entry on drug and alcohol use. Addiction Biology, 7 (1), 67-74.

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One hundred and twenty-three treatment-seeking substance misusers were recruited to a study assessing the early impact of treatment. Participants were interviewed at treatment entry and 3 and 6 months later, regardless of their treatment status (i.e. including those who had dropped out of treatment), while additional data were obtained from the two assessment interviews carried out prior to the initiation of treatment. Three consistent observations can be applied to both the opiate misuser (n = 61) and problem drinker samples (n = 62): (1) the period of pre-treatment wait (mean of 8 weeks) was characterized by stable patterns of substance misuse with no significant 'spontaneous' improvement in indices of severity of drug or alcohol problems; (2) the period immediately following initiation of treatment was associated with substantial reductions in the quantity and frequency of substance use, an effect not influenced by the length of time for treatment initiation; (3) these benefits are maintained to 6 months after treatment initiation. The waiting period for treatment initiation does not seem to be characterized by significant changes in drug or alcohol use patterns, at least among those who made it into treatment, with clear and sustained improvements irrespective of the length of treatment wait.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Law Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 67-74
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 09:07
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 09:30

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