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Initiating methadone in jail and in the community: Patient differences and implications of methadone treatment for reducing arrests [2018]

Highlights

• Engaging arrestees in methadone treatment during incarceration may be a useful public health and safety strategy.

• This study found that controlling for age, race, and gender, individuals starting methadone treatment in jail compared to the community, had more severe drug use and criminal justice profiles.

• These different characteristics suggest that patients initiating methadone in a jail-based program could have greater likelihood of future arrest compared to patients entering community-based treatment.

Abstract
The extent to which patient characteristics differ between individuals entering methadone treatment through community programs and jail-based programs is not known. Such differences could impact the likelihood of relapse and recidivism in these two populations and inform efforts at targeting interventions. We compared treatment-entry characteristics of participants enrolling in methadone treatment in two studies conducted in Baltimore, one conducted in community programs (N = 295) and the other in a jail-based program (N = 225). Controlling for age, race, and gender, individuals starting methadone treatment in jail compared to the community, had more severe drug use and criminal justice profiles. These different characteristics suggest that patients initiating methadone in a jail-based program could have greater likelihood of future arrest compared to patients entering community-based treatment.

Robert P. Schwartz, Sharon M. Kelly, Shannon Gwin Mitchell, Jan Gryczynski, Kevin E. O’Grady, Jerome H. Jaffe
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 97, February 2019
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