Termination From Substance Use Disorder Treatment in the United States: Residential and Outpatient Settings

J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2023 May;84(3):476-484. doi: 10.15288/jsad.21-00221. Epub 2022 Dec 8.


Objective: As rates of noncompletion in substance use treatment remain high and consequences of noncompletion can be severe, research regarding individual and environmental factors associated with specific types of discharge is crucial. The current study used data from the Treatment Episodes Dataset-Discharge (TEDS-D) 2015-2017 in the United States to investigate the impact of social determinants of health on discharge from treatment due to termination by the treatment facility in both outpatient/intensive outpatient and residential treatment settings.

Method: A multinomial logistic regression was conducted examining the likelihood of discharge due to termination compared with discharge because of dropout or incarceration.

Results: Results revealed differences in termination based on treatment setting, race, income, criminal justice referral, and mental health diagnoses, among others. Broadly across settings, people of color were significantly more likely to be terminated from treatment than to drop out compared with their White counterparts. Further, with little exception, individuals with less financial security (i.e., those who were unemployed, those with low/no income, those with no insurance) were less likely to drop out and more likely to be discharged due to termination across treatment settings.

Conclusions: The results of the current study further solidify the need for nuanced examination of the reason individuals do not complete substance use treatment and extend the impact of social determinants of health to involuntary termination from substance use treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Income
  • Outpatients*
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / therapy
  • United States / epidemiology