Chapter 9
Methadone Outpatient Treatment Discharges: 2004

Chapter 9 presents data on the reasons for discharge and length of stay (LOS) in treatment for the 31,828 linked admission/discharge records of clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment in 2004 in 23 States [Table 9.1]. Methadone outpatient treatment in this chapter includes methadone outpatient treatment other than methadone detoxification (Chapter 10).

Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1 present the distribution of reasons for discharge for discharges from methadone outpatient treatment. The treatment completion rate for methadone outpatient treatment was the lowest completion rate among all types of service. Overall, 3,859 (12 percent) of methadone outpatient discharges completed treatment, 5,555 (17 percent) were transferred to further treatment, 14,084 (44 percent) dropped out of treatment, 4,096 (13 percent) had treatment terminated by the facility, and 4,234 (13 percent) failed to complete treatment for other reasons.* Table 9.1 also presents reason for discharge by State.


* Percentages do not sum to 100 percent because of rounding.
Figure 9.1
Reason for discharge from methadone outpatient treatment: TEDS 2004

Pie chart comparing Reason for discharge from methadone outpatient treatment in TEDS 2004

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Figure 9.2, Table 2.6, and Appendix Table C.8. The median LOS for methadone outpatient treatment was 115 days. The average (mean) was longer, 224 days (standard deviation, 273). The average LOS was longer than the median LOS for most reasons for discharge for most client characteristics.

Figure 9.2
Median and average lengths of stay in methadone outpatient treatment, by reason for discharge: TEDS 2004

Bar chart comparing Median and average lengths of stay in methadone outpatient treatment, by reason for discharge in TEDS 2004

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Methadone outpatient clients who completed treatment generally remained in treatment longer than clients who did not complete treatment. Among treatment completers, median LOS was 159 days and among clients transferred to further treatment, it was 108 days. Among clients who dropped out of treatment, the median LOS was 90 days; among those whose treatment was terminated by the facility, it was 139 days; and among those who failed to complete treatment for other reasons, the median LOS was 159 days.

In comparison with all discharges combined, clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment were more likely:

Clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment were less likely than all discharges combined:

Demographics

Tables 9.2-9.4 and Figures 9.3-9.5. More than half (59 percent) of clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment were male. The peak age group at admission was 40 to 49 years (33 percent of all methadone outpatient discharges), followed by 30 to 39 years (29 percent). Twenty-one percent were ages 20 to 29, and 15 percent were age 50 and older. Small proportions were younger than age 15 (less than one-tenth of 1 percent) and ages 15 to 19 years of age (2 percent).* Just over half of clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment were non-Hispanic White (53 percent), while 27 percent were non-Hispanic Black, 17 percent were of Hispanic origin, and 4 percent were of other racial/ethnic groups.*


* Percentages do not sum to 100 percent because of rounding.
Figure 9.3
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by gender: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by gender in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Table 9.3 and Figure 9.4. Among methadone outpatient treatment discharges, the combined rate of completion or transfer to further treatment for nearly all clients—the more than 99 percent who were 15 years of age and older—displayed no consistent pattern with age and was between 28 percent and 31 percent.

The median LOS for methadone outpatient treatment completers was longer among the older age groups. The median LOS was highest (199 days) among those who were age 50 and older. It fell to 92 days among those who were younger than age 15.

Figure 9.4
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by age at admission: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by age at admission in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Table 9.4 and Figure 9.5. Non-Hispanic Blacks were more likely either to complete methadone outpatient treatment or to be transferred to further treatment (32 percent) than were either non-Hispanic Whites or discharges of Hispanic origin (29 percent and 28 percent, respectively).

The median LOS among methadone outpatient treatment completers was longest (190 days) among discharges of Hispanic origin, 154 days among non-Hispanic Whites, and shortest (147 days) among non-Hispanic Blacks.

Figure 9.5
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by race/ethnicity: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by race/ethnicity in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Primary Substance

Table 9.5 and Figure 9.6. Ninety-five percent of clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment reported opiates as their primary substance of abuse at admission. Alcohol was reported by 2 percent. Cocaine, marijuana, stimulants, and other substances were each reported by 1 percent or less.

Clients who reported opiates as their primary substance at admission (95 percent of all methadone outpatient treatment discharges) had a combined rate of methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment of 29 percent. Clients who reported substances other than opiates had combined rates between 28 percent and 51 percent.

Clients who reported opiates as their primary substance had a median LOS among methadone outpatient treatment completers of 178 days. For clients who reported substances other than opiates, the median LOS was between 55 days and 119 days.

Figure 9.6
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by primary substance: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by primary substance in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Frequency of Use

Table 9.6 and Figure 9.7. Eighty percent of clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment reported daily use of their primary substance in the month before entering treatment, while 10 percent reported no use in that period.

Clients with less frequent substance use before treatment entry were more likely either to complete methadone outpatient treatment or to be transferred to further treatment than were clients with more frequent use. The combined rate fell from 44 percent among those who reported no substance use in the month before treatment entry to 25 percent among those who reported daily use.

The median LOS among methadone outpatient treatment completers was 134 days for the 80 percent of clients who reported daily use of their primary substance before entering treatment. Among the remaining methadone outpatient treatment completers, the median LOS displayed no consistent pattern with frequency of use and was between 70 days and 126 days.

Figure 9.7
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by frequency of substance use in the past month: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by frequency of substance use in the past month in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Age at First Use

Table 9.7 and Figure 9.8. Fifty-nine percent of methadone outpatient discharges first used their primary substance at age 19 or older. The peak age at first use was over age 25 (28 percent of methadone outpatient treatment discharges).

Clients who were younger when they began their substance use were more likely either to complete methadone outpatient treatment or to be transferred to further treatment than were clients whose use began later. The combined rate was 36 percent among those whose substance use began at age 12 or younger, and fell to 30 percent among those whose use began after age 25.

The median LOS among methadone outpatient treatment completers was generally longer among clients who were older when they began their substance use. The median LOS was 188 days among those whose substance use began after age 25, and fell to 112 days among those whose use began at age 12 or younger.

Figure 9.8
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by age at first use: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by age at first use in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Prior Treatment

Table 9.8 and Figure 9.9. Twenty-two percent of methadone outpatient treatment discharges had been in treatment five or more times previously, while 21 percent had never been in treatment before.

Clients with fewer prior treatment episodes were more likely either to complete methadone outpatient treatment or to be transferred to further treatment than were clients with more prior treatment episodes. The combined rate fell from 33 percent among those with no prior treatment episodes to 21 percent among those who had been in treatment five or more times.

Clients with more prior treatment episodes who completed methadone outpatient treatment had a longer median LOS than clients with fewer prior treatment episodes. The median LOS was longest (152 days) among those who had been in treatment five or more times. It fell to 102 days among those with no prior treatment episodes.

Figure 9.9
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by number of prior treatment episodes: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by number of prior treatment episodes in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Treatment Referral Source

Table 9.9 and Figure 9.10. Three-quarters (75 percent) of clients discharged from methadone outpatient treatment were self- or individual referrals, and 7 percent were referred to treatment through the criminal justice system. Substance abuse treatment providers made up 10 percent, health care providers 5 percent, community referrals 2 percent, and schools and employers less than 1 percent each.*

The combined rates of methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment were above the methadone outpatient treatment average of 29 percent for those referred to treatment by substance abuse treatment providers (45 percent), by health care providers (37 percent), and through the criminal justice system (32 percent). The combined rate was below average for self- or individual referrals (25 percent).

The median LOS among methadone outpatient treatment completers was longest (160 days) for self- or individual referrals. The median LOS for methadone outpatient treatment completers referred by other sources was between 95 days and 133 days.


* Percentages do not sum to 100 percent because of rounding.
Figure 9.10
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by treatment referral source: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by treatment referral source in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Employment Status

Table 9.10 and Figure 9.11. Thirty-seven percent of clients age 16 and older discharged from methadone outpatient treatment were not in the labor force. Thirty-four percent were unemployed, and 28 percent were employed either full time or part time.*

The combined rate of methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment displayed no consistent pattern with employment status and was between 27 percent and 32 percent.

Clients who were employed and who completed methadone outpatient treatment had a longer median LOS than clients who were unemployed or not in the labor force. The median LOS was longest among those employed full-time or part time (177 days and 167 days, respectively). It fell to 145 days among those who were unemployed and was shortest (140 days) among those who were not in the labor force.


* Percentages do not sum to 100 percent because of rounding.
Figure 9.11
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by employment status: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by employment status in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

Education

Table 9.11 and Figure 9.12. Forty-four percent of clients age 18 and older discharged from methadone outpatient treatment had 12 years of education or a GED. Thirty percent had 9 to 11 years of education, 19 percent had more than 12 years of education, and 6 percent had 8 years of education or less.*

The combined rate of methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment was highest (33 percent) among those with more than 12 years of education, but displayed no consistent pattern with level of education and was between 28 percent and 30 percent at the other educational levels.

The median LOS among clients completing methadone outpatient treatment displayed no consistent pattern with level of education and was between 135 days and 195 days.


* Percentages do not sum to 100 percent because of rounding.
Figure 9.12
Methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by years of education: TEDS 2004

Stacked bar chart comparing methadone outpatient treatment completion or transfer to further treatment, by years of education in TEDS 2004

Figure legend

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Data received through 2.1.2006.

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