Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Young and homeless drug-users more likely to exit treatment early

Almost a quarter of the most problematic drug-users in some areas exit drug treatment programmes before they've even completed 30 days reports a new study published in BioMed Central’s open access Harm Reduction Journal.

It found that problem drug-users who were younger, homeless or not currently injecting are significantly more likely to exit early, possibly because drug services are off-putting and not suited to their needs.

Since 1998, the UK has seen a big expansion in its drug programmes that has led to a 113% increase in the numbers of people being assessed for structured treatment. However, problem drug-users may not benefit from these programmes if they do not stay the course.

Researchers from the University of Kent and Kings College London analysed data from 2,624 service users from three English drug action team areas (two metropolitan and one provincial) who had been assessed and recommended for treatment programmes.

Whilst a quarter of problem drug-users exited early before completing 30 days, two thirds of these actually failed to even begin the recommended course of treatment –i.e. these programs fail to engage them at the outset. The ages of people leaving before starting treatment or before 30 days was significantly lower than those who remained on the programme.

How much drug users stuck at their treatment varied between agencies; they were more than two times more likely to exit early in agencies that have a longer waiting time between the assessment of the drug user and the start of their treatment. This finding suggests that exiting treatment early is not just due to inherent, individual factors but may relate to program differences.

Interviews with problem drug-users and agency staff backed up these findings. “Whilst it is easy to blame the early exit out rate of problem drug-users on the 'chaos' in their lives of drug and their lack of motivation our data and interviews suggest that there is much that services can do to enhance the rate of retention in the first few days and weeks,” notes Dr Alex Stevens, who led the study.

For example, problem drug-users who do not belong to the traditional client group of injecting heroin users in their late 20s and 30s (eg – those who use stimulants) may find traditional drug services, provided from central locations in often run-down buildings, off-putting.

The limited opening hours of services may exclude many potential clients, especially those who work, from being able to attend treatment. Techniques for enhancing early retention, such as proactive, personalised contacting for appointments and motivational interviewing during treatment sessions are available but not yet widespread.

Charlotte Webber | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>