Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)
School of Education
Joseph F. Maola
addiction treatment, drop out, patient-initiated, termination
Patient-initiated termination, a significant and long-standing problem in the field of addiction treatment, is linked to the effectiveness of addiction treatment. The literature revealed several important points. First, treatment outcomes are positively correlated with the length of time spent in treatment. Second, many patients terminate addiction treatment before completing the program. Third, many patients attending addiction treatment facilities develop a treatment career in which they attend several treatment programs and receive a variety of services. Fourth, such factors as the patients' physical health, mental health, legal status, employment status and the patients' relationships with others are consistently related to the initiation of addiction. The literature reviewed for this study fails to identify patients' reasons for terminating treatment or identify any relationships among the factors influencing patients' decisions to initiate treatment and their decisions to terminate treatment. This study was an initial step in determining why some patients choose to leave addiction treatment programs. The study surveyed patients enrolled in an Outpatient Opioid Treatment facility to identify and describe correlations among the factors associated with the patients' decisions to terminate their treatment and the factors associated with their decisions to initiate treatment, and correlations among the factors associated with the patients' decisions to terminate their treatment and their satisfaction with the treatment facility's efforts to address the factors associated with treatment initiation. The majority of the patient surveyed is this study did not identify physical health, mental health, legal issues, employment issues or relationship issues as factors in their decision to terminate treatment. A significant minority of patients, however, did identify one or more of these issues or problems as being a factor in their decision to terminate treatment. Additionally, the majority of the patients tended to express varying degrees of dissatisfaction with the treatment facilities' attempts to address issues or problems related to the factors mentioned above, and for some of the patients, the agency's response to these issues was a factor in their decision to terminate treatment. This study failed to determine whether the issues that were factors in the patients' initiation of treatment were the same issues that were factors in their decision to terminate treatment.
Gregory, N. (2007). An Exploration into Factors Contributing to Patient-Initiated Termination from Addiction Treatment Programs by Opioid-Dependent Persons (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/602