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Intensive Substance-Abuse Treatment Fails to Deliver Better Results: Study

But researcher isn't ready to give up on the multi-pronged approach

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To test that theory, the researchers recruited nearly 600 people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction and randomly assigned them to chronic care management or primary care and referral.

Those in the chronic care management group received a variety of on-site services coordinated with their primary medical care. These included motivational therapy, relapse-prevention counseling, addiction and psychiatric treatment, social work assistance, and referrals to drug- or alcohol-abuse programs. Addiction drugs also were prescribed if appropriate.

Patients received reminders, and care providers worked in collaboration with one another.

Those in the other group received a medical care visit, a list of addiction-treatment resources and a phone number for accessing motivational therapy sessions.

Although there was no difference in results between the groups, patients with alcohol dependence in the chronic care management group had fewer alcohol problems, the researchers said.

There were, however, no differences in the severity of addiction, health-related quality of life or drug problems between the groups, they said.

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