Association of facility characteristics and substance use disorder outcomes at discharge from residential treatment

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2022 May:136:108664. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108664. Epub 2021 Nov 15.


Introduction: Individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) may benefit from services and supports delivered in residential settings. Prior research in this area has primarily focused on individual-level factors that affect outcomes, with little focus on the relationship between facility-level characteristics and treatment outcomes.

Methods: Administrative data from 2713 individuals with an index enrollment in publicly funded residential treatment in Massachusetts during 2015 were linked with facility-level survey data from 33 treatment providers. This study conducted multilevel linear and logisitc regression analysis, adjusting for resident demographic, socioeconomic, and substance use history and severity, to examine relationships between facility-level characteristics, treatment duration and completion, and housing and employment status at discharge.

Results: Residents stayed longer when they made and enforced rules (β = 30.22, p = 0.006). Residents were less likely to complete treatment as the number of non-clinical services increased (aOR = 0.918, p = 0.029), or in facilities where residents ate together family style (aOR = 0.485, p = 0.039). Being employed at discharge was more likely when house meetings were held less than once per week (aOR = 3.37, p = 0.005) and less likely when held more than once per week (aOR = 0.385, p = 0.038).

Conclusion: Overall, increased resident governance and fewer contingencies for successful treatment participation were associated with positive treatment outcomes. Future research should examine the internal processes of residential settings, including peer-to-peer interactions, to better understand how within-residence features affect outcomes.

Keywords: Organizational characteristics; Outcomes; Recovery; Residential treatment; Substance use disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge
  • Residential Treatment*
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / therapy