Predictors of methadone program non-retention for opioid analgesic dependent patients

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 05/07/2012

Understanding predictors of specific loss to follow–up outcomes may help methadone maintenance treatment programs improve patient retention.


  • Data were collected using the Addiction Severity Index Lite.
  • The probability of loss to follow-up was evaluated using a time-to-event analysis.
  • Involuntary and voluntary program discharges were treated separately as the outcomes of interest.
  • Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to explore the role of various patient-related attributes.


  • The probabilities of involuntary and voluntary discharges at 1 year were 20% and 14%, respectively.
  • In this exploratory analysis, determinants of loss to follow-up were characteristics related to drug use history (e.g., use of sedatives) and its consequences (e.g., number of lifetime arrests), and differed for each outcome.
  • Some determinants of involuntary discharge were modified by sex.

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