New project to focus on improving transition from detox to continuing care in Wisconsin

Submitted by: 08/29/2014 by Maureen Fitzgerald

Research shows that those receiving continuing care following alcohol/drug detoxification treatment are more likely to remain sober or drug-free and less likely to use additional medical resources, become unemployed, be incarcerated for a crime, or die. Unfortunately, only a small number of individuals discharged from detoxification services actually receive follow-up continuing care or addiction treatment services.

In Wisconsin, where since 2000 rates of alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, and alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities have been higher than that in the United States as a whole, the rate of transition from detox to continuing care ranges from 11-52%.

A new grant awarded to the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS) will focus on improving transitions from detoxification services to continuing care in Wisconsin.  Todd Molfenter, NIATx Deputy Director, will lead the study with NIATx researcher Mark Zehner in partnership with the WI Department of Health Services (DHS) and the WI Department of Family and Medicine (DFM), and  detoxification and treatment facilities in six Wisconsin counties (Milwaukee, Portage, Marathon, Rock, Sauk, and Dane.

The grant is funded by the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, as part of its Dissemination & Implementation Research Award Program. This award program supports research that addresses how to best ensure evidence-based strategies, interventions, or programs are effectively delivered in clinical practice and community health programs.

The study will test practices (timely transitions, a “warm hand-off”) that have been effective in improving transitions from detox to continuing care in earlier NIATx demonstration projects. It will also test using a checklist to monitor adherence to a defined transition protocol.

 “Our goal is to identify a process that will help get more people into the care they need and create a model for Wisconsin that could be adopted in other states, ” says Molfenter.

For more information, contact

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