Improving substance abuse treatment enrollment in community syringe exchangers
Version of Record online: 7 APR 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 104, Issue 5, pages 786–795, May 2009
How to Cite
Kidorf, M., King, V. L., Neufeld, K., Peirce, J., Kolodner, K. and Brooner, R. K. (2009), Improving substance abuse treatment enrollment in community syringe exchangers. Addiction, 104: 786–795. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02560.x
- Issue online: 7 APR 2009
- Version of Record online: 7 APR 2009
- Submitted 11 April 2008; initial review completed 30 September 2008; final version accepted 3 February 2009
- Harm reduction;
- injection drug users;
- syringe exchange;
- treatment enrollment
Aims The present study evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention combining motivational enhancement and treatment readiness groups, with and without monetary incentives for attendance and treatment enrollment, on enhancing rates of substance abuse treatment entry among new registrants at the Baltimore Needle Exchange Program (BNEP).
Design Opioid-dependent study participants (n = 281) referred by the BNEP were assigned randomly to one of three referral interventions: (i) eight individual motivational enhancement sessions and 16 treatment readiness group sessions (motivated referral condition—MRC); (ii) the MRC intervention with monetary incentives for attending sessions and enrolling in treatment—MRC+I); or (iii) a standard referral condition which directed participants back to the BNEP for referral (standard referral—SRC). Participants were followed for 4 months.
Findings MRC+I participants were more likely to enroll in any type of treatment than MRC or SRC participants (52.1% versus 31.9% versus 35.5%; χ2 = 9.12, P = 0.01), and more likely to enroll in treatment including methadone than MRC or SRC participants (40.4% versus 20.2% versus 16.1%; χ2 = 16.65, P < 0.001). MRC+I participants also reported less heroin and injection use than MRC and SRC participants.
Conclusions Syringe exchange sites can be effective platforms to motivate opioid users to enroll in substance abuse treatment and ultimately reduce drug use and number of drug injections.