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Centers Offering More Diverse Treatment Strategies Will Be Most Competitive in New Healthcare Climate

January 7, 2015
Edmond, Aletraris, Paino, & Roman
Edmond MB, Aletraris, L, Paino M, Roman PM. Treatment Strategy Profiles in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs: A Latent Class Analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2015 (in press).
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  • Modern treatment options for SUD are diverse. While studies have analyzed the adoption of individual evidence-based practices in treatment centers, little is known about the specific make-up of treatment strategy profiles in treatment centers throughout the United States.
  • This study, also part of the National Treatment Center Study (NTCS), which includes programs from the CTN, analyzed the treatment strategies of 775 SUD treatment centers in the U.S., revealing three distinct profiles:

1. Centers that primarily relied on Motivational Interviewing and Motivational Enhancement Therapy,

2. Centers that utilized psychosocial and alternative therapies, and

3. Centers that employed comprehensive treatments, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

A treatment philosophy that embraced innovation and structural supports such as access to information, care coordination, more highly educated counselors, and competitive funding, were all associated strongly with centers being in the more comprehensive class (class #3 above). Centers that were larger and had access to onsite prescribing physicians were unsurprisingly also more likely to offer comprehensive treatment, as were centers that relied more heavily on insured clients.

Conclusion: The findings of this study clarify the general strategies of treatment centers in the U.S. and how those strategies are interconnected, information valuable to both providers and clients. Access to diverse treatment is beneficial and centers with limited offerings should consider widening their treatment strategies, especially as the Affordable Care Act begins to increase the emphasis on integration of SUD treatment with general health care practice. Centers offering MAT will be better able to integrate other medical services, and programs that make up the more comprehensive class, offering a wider range of core and wraparound services, will be the most competitive in the new SUD treatment climate.