OBJECTIVE: Because discharged methadone maintenance patients represent a
population at particularly high public health risk, the authors studied
such patients 1 year after their discharge from a methadone program.
METHOD: The locations of 94 of 110 discharged patients were successfully
determined 1 year after discharge. Nine (10%) of these patients had died,
37 (39%) were already reenrolled in treatment, and 7 (7%) did not require
treatment. The 41 remaining subjects were randomly assigned to either the
enhanced outreach counseling condition (N = 27) or a standard referral
condition (N = 14). RESULTS: Within 2 weeks following this intervention, 17
(63%) of the 27 patients in the enhanced outreach counseling program and
one (7%) of the 14 patients not in the program had reenrolled in treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that enhanced outreach counseling may be an
effective outreach strategy as well as a risk-reduction for discharged
methadone maintenance patients.