Residential placement for veterans with addiction: American society of addiction medicine criteria vs. a veterans homeless program

Joseph Westermeyer, Kathryn Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of this study was to compare placements of patients with addiction undertaken by a) a unidimensional, protocol-driven, independent "permanent" housing "wet" program versus b) a multidimensional, patient-individualized, contingency-based housing approach. The sample consisted of eight veterans in a single team's panel admitted to a housing program and eight matched veterans on the verge of homelessness placed by the team according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria. The two groups (matched for sex, race-ethnicity, and age [SD, 5 years]) were similar on demography, substance disorder, and psychiatric comorbidity. Measures consisted of a) description of the placements, b) 12-month postplacement outcomes using a 12-item scale, and c) a Drug Abuse Research Project-based 10-item scale to assess recovery processes at two 6-month preplacement and two 6-month postplacement intervals. The veterans in the housing program escalated drinking and/or drug use; all were readdicted by the end of 12 months after placement. In the ASAM-criteria group, five of the eight patients had brief slips lasting 2 days or less, but none were readdicted at 12 months. The housing program group experienced five nontrivial outcomes: three imprisonments for felonies, one life-threatening medical complication, and one death. In conclusion, the findings support close monitoring and relevant contingencies using the ASAM criteria in the treatment of substance use disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-571
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume201
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

Keywords

  • Addicted
  • Homeless
  • Intervention
  • Outcome
  • Veteran

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