, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 234-245

Day versus inpatient treatment for cocaine dependence: An experimental comparison

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This study was designed to explore the question of whether day treatment is a viable alternative to inpatient treatment for cocaine-dependent patients. Inpatient subjects were compared with day-treatment subjects in a randomized, prospective study design. Treatment outcome was evaluated at three and six months posttreatment. At three months posttreatment, the inpatient group had a statistically significant higher rate of total abstinence than the day-treatment group, but the difference at six months was not statistically significant. The two groups also were statistically comparable at six months posttreatment in terms of “current” abstinence and in terms of other measures. Average costs for day-treatment subjects was 48–61% of the cost for inpatient subjects. The results of this study support the use of day treatment as a clinically and economically effective alternative to inpatient treatment for many cocaine-dependent patients, especially when steps are taken to minimize drop out.