Inpatient Addiction Consultation for Hospitalized Patients Increases Post-Discharge Abstinence and Reduces Addiction Severity.J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Aug; 32(8):909-916.JG
Alcohol and drug use results in substantial morbidity, mortality, and cost. Individuals with alcohol and drug use disorders are overrepresented in general medical settings. Hospital-based interventions offer an opportunity to engage with a vulnerable population that may not otherwise seek treatment.
To determine whether inpatient addiction consultation improves substance use outcomes 1 month after discharge.
Prospective quasi-experimental evaluation comparing 30-day post-discharge outcomes between participants who were and were not seen by an addiction consult team during hospitalization at an urban academic hospital.
Three hundred ninety-nine hospitalized adults who screened as high risk for having an alcohol or drug use disorder or who were clinically identified by the primary nurse as having a substance use disorder.
Addiction consultation from a multidisciplinary specialty team offering pharmacotherapy initiation, motivational counseling, treatment planning, and direct linkage to ongoing addiction treatment.
Addiction Severity Index (ASI) composite score for alcohol and drug use and self-reported abstinence at 30 days post-discharge. Secondary outcomes included 90-day substance use measures and self-reported hospital and ED utilization.
Among 265 participants with 30-day follow-up, a greater reduction in the ASI composite score for drug or alcohol use was seen in the intervention group than in the control group (mean ASI-alcohol decreased by 0.24 vs. 0.08, p < 0.001; mean ASI-drug decreased by 0.05 vs. 0.02, p = 0.003.) There was also a greater increase in the number of days of abstinence in the intervention group versus the control group (+12.7 days vs. +5.6, p < 0.001). The differences in ASI-alcohol, ASI-drug, and days abstinent all remained statistically significant after controlling for age, gender, employment status, smoking status, and baseline addiction severity (p = 0.018, 0.018, and 0.02, respectively). In a sensitivity analysis, assuming that patients who were lost to follow-up had no change from baseline severity, the differences remained statistically significant.
In a non-randomized cohort of medical inpatients, addiction consultation reduced addiction severity for alcohol and drug use and increased the number of days of abstinence in the first month after hospital discharge.