Increasing Engagement in Post-Withdrawal Management Services Through a Practice Bundle and Checklist

J Behav Health Serv Res. 2021 Jul;48(3):400-409. doi: 10.1007/s11414-020-09700-w.


Individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) who engage in post-withdrawal management (or detoxification) continuing care are more likely to remain drug free or sober and less likely to be incarcerated or die of overdose. Yet, just 21-35% of individuals receiving emergency withdrawal management services receive continuing care. This deficiency is occurring, while overdose rates are high, and limited evidence exists on how to improve this vital transition. To address this gap, withdrawal management service providers employed the LINK Care Transition Implementation System to improve withdrawal management to continuing care transition rates. This system integrates three evidence-based implementation science approaches: (a) practice bundle, (b) process checklist, and (c) standardized organizational change model. This integrated implementation approach improved withdrawal management to continuing care transition rates from 20 (baseline average) to 43% (post-intervention) in (n = 6) Wisconsin withdrawal management centers. This study provides insights into how to improve transitions to enhance SUD care and outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Checklist*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / therapy
  • Wisconsin