Do treatment pathways matter for methamphetamine dependent clients?

Victoria Manning, Joshua Garfield, David Best, Andrew Larner, Lynda Berends, Steve Allsop, Tina Lam, Dan I. Lubman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Introduction and Aims: Due to its relative accessibility, affordability and destructive side-effects, methamphetamine (ice) use is considered a national concern (Australian Crime Commission, 2014). The study examines the treatment pathways of 157 clients entering alcohol and other drug (AOD) specialist treatment services in Victoria and Western Australia, who had reported methamphetamine as their primary drug of concern.

Design and Methods: The study (Patient Pathways) had a longitudinal prospective cohort design.

Results: The primary index treatment (PIT) types at treatment entry were outpatient community services (24%), acute withdrawal (27%) and residential rehabilitation (49%). The sample were predominantly male (68%), Australian-born (85.4%), with a median age of 29 years. At the one-year follow-up (n = 92), 73.3% were identified as treatment successes (either abstinent from methamphetamine or had reduced their frequency of past-month use by 50% or more) and 61% were abstinent from methamphetamine, though this dropped to
38% if those lost to follow-up were assumed to have relapsed. Entering the following variables into logistic regression; completion of PIT, PIT type, additional AOD specialist treatment, engagement with community services and mutual-aid attendance (all post-PIT), only the latter (odds ratio 5.7, confidence interval 1.6–20.4) was a significant predictor of treatment success.

Discussion and Conclusions: The majority of methamphetamine-dependent treatment seekers benefit from treatment irrespective of treatment modality, extent of continuity of AOD-specialist care and integration with non-AOD community services. Since mutual aid attenders were more than five times as likely to be a treatment success, services should develop and promote referral pathways and linkage to this free and widely available form of aftercare.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2014
EventAustralasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2014 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 9 Nov 201412 Nov 2014


ConferenceAustralasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2014

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