Correlates of Outpatient Drug Treatment Drop-Out Among Methamphetamine Users

Published in: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, v. 32, no. 2, Apr.-June 2000, p. 221-228

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2000

by Margaret A. Maglione, Brian Chao, M. Douglas Anglin

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This article explores correlates of retention among the 2.337 methamphetamine (MA) users entering public outpatient treatment programs in California from January 1, 1994 through September 30, 1997. A secondary analysis of data from the California Alcohol and Drug Data System (CADDS) was performed and predictors of drop-out before treatment completion (as measured by a retention of 180 days or more) were determined using logistic regression. Overall, 23.3% of MA users completed treatment, a rate similar to that for users of other drugs throughout California. As expected, MA users who were older (40 years or over), had less severe drug use patterns (used less than daily or did not inject), or who were under coerced treatment were significantly more likely to complete treatment that other MA users. Surprisingly, men were significantly more likely than women to drop out of treatment before 180 days. Until studies currently collecting primary data on MA treatment are completed, the present secondary analysis provides a useful foundation upon which future research and intervention strategies may be based.

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