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Prevalence, predictors, and service utilization of patients with recurrent use of Veterans Affairs substance use disorder specialty care.

Hawkins EJ, Malte CA, Baer JS, Kivlahan DR. Prevalence, predictors, and service utilization of patients with recurrent use of Veterans Affairs substance use disorder specialty care. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2012 Sep 1; 43(2):221-30.

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Abstract:

Although substance use disorders (SUDs) are chronic conditions for many patients, the prevalence, predictors, and health care utilization patterns of those who reenter SUD specialty care are understudied. We identified 1,640 patients who initiated SUD specialty care at 1 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center and categorized them, using their subsequent 24 and prior 60 months receipt of VA SUD care, as index episode only (35.7%, 33.5-38.1), index and prior episode(s) (24.6%, 22.5-22.7), and index and postindex episodes (39.6%, 37.3-42.0). Compared with the index episode-only group, the postindex episode(s) group had modestly higher percentages of men, divorced/separated, and alcohol use, cocaine use, bipolar disorder, and psychotic disorders. Patients with postindex episodes averaged 2 times more postindex emergency visits and mental health hospitalizations than patients with an index only episode. Results document the prevalence, overall health care utilization, and limited predictability of SUD treatment reentry and support development of new models of care for these complex patients.





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