Length of stay among female clients in substance abuse treatment, Chapter 6 in Report: Health services utilization by individuals with substance abuse and mental disorders
Research suggests that increased length of stay (LOS) in substance abuse treatment is associated with improved postdischarge outcomes (Comfort, Loverro, & Kaltenbach, 2000; Gottheil, McLellan, & Druley, 1992; Hubbard, Craddock, Flynn, Anderson, & Etheridge, 1997; Luchansky, He, Krupski, & Stark, 2000; McKay, Alterman, McLellan, & Snider, 1994; Pettinati et al., 1996; Simpson, Joe, & Broome, 2002; Simpson, Joe, Fletcher, Hubbard, & Anglin, 1999; Simpson, Joe, & Rowan-Szal, 1997b). Favorable outcomes measured in these studies after exposure to substance abuse treatment included abstinence from drugs, gains in employment, and decreases in criminal behaviors. Among pregnant women receiving residential substance abuse treatment, longer stay in treatment prior to delivery has resulted in reduced likelihood of adverse birth outcomes (Clark, 2001). In addition, clients with shorter stays are at increased risk of poor outcomes, such as readmission to treatment (Moos, Brennan, & Mertens, 1994a; Moos, Mertens, & Brennan, 1994b).