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State policies influence drug treatment programs
Date:6/25/2008

ograms were in states requiring relapse-prevention services. Just over 40 percent were required to provide aftercare counseling services.

When the researchers looked at what services the programs actually provided, there was a closer correspondence to research recommendations. Almost all programs performed diagnostic assessment and group and individual therapy, although rates of family counseling were lower. Nearly all programs performed urine screening for drugs and alcohol, but most did not test for substance-abuse related diseases. Most programs did provide relapse-prevention and aftercare services.

When other factors were taken into account, programs in states requiring more comprehensive services were more likely to offer those services. "The resultsindicate that state policy requirements governing outpatient substance abuse treatment may have significant public health implications," the researchers write.

In recent years, major federal and other national organizations have urged the states to play a more active role in ensuring access to proven and effective treatments for substance abuse. A growing body of research shows that comprehensive treatment programs, including all of the components evaluated in this study, yield the best outcomes.

State policies could play a central role in improving the quality of substance abuse treatment programs, the new results suggest. Simply doing research on the most effective treatment approaches is not enoughstrategies are also needed to ensure that the research-proven approaches find their way into actual treatment practice. "It is crucial for health services researchers to work with policy makers to incorporate best treatment practices into state policy and regulations," Dr. Chriqui and colleagues conclude.


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Contact: Jayne M. Dawkins
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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