Admission and referral patterns among alcohol detoxification patients

Dennis McCarty, David H. Mulligan, Milton Argeriou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A sample of 447 patients was selected systematically from 11, 323 detoxification admissions in the Massachusetts Alcoholism Management Information system. Client characteristics, readmission frequencies, and post-detoxification treatment were assessed. Most patients (63.1%) had one admission during the seven month study period. The 11.4% with five or more détoxifications, however, required a disproportionate amount of care—44% of the admissions and 40% of the bed days. Individuals with five or more admissions were primarily white males who drank more heavily than other admissions and had more prior alcoholism treatment. Further, they were less likely to enter post-detoxification care following a detoxification. Altogether, 17% of the sample began long-term alcoholism treatment. Clients with two or more detoxifications were most likely to enter a recovery home. Suggestions are made to restructure alcoholism treatment systems and increase the diversity of services available. The proposed changes may reduce the expense of treating chronic readmissions and improve access to long-term treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 9 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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