Linking Individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) in Primary Care to SUD Treatment: the Recovery Management Checkups–Primary Care (RMC-PC) Pilot Study

  • Christy K Scott
  • Christine E. Grella
  • Michael L. Dennis
  • Lisa Nicholson


Linking individuals in primary care settings with substance use disorders (SUDs) to SUD treatment has proven to be challenging, despite the widespread use of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). This paper reports findings from a pilot study that examined the efficacy of the Recovery Management Checkups intervention adapted for primary care settings (RMC-PC), for assertively linking and engaging patients from Federally Qualified Health Centers into SUD treatment. Findings showed that patients in the RMC-PC (n=92) had significantly higher rates of SUD treatment entry and received more days of SUD treatment compared with those who receive the usual SBIRT referral (n=50). Receipt of RMC-PC had both direct and indirect effects, partially mediated through days of SUD treatment, on reducing days of drug use at 6 months post intake. RMC-PC is a promising intervention to address the need for more assertive methods for linking patients in primary care to SUD treatment.



The authors thank Rod Funk, Brittany Moody, Cheryl Peterson, and Belinda Willis for their assistance preparing the manuscript. The opinions are those of the authors and do not reflect official positions of the government. Comments and questions can be addressed to Dr. Scott.

Funding Information

This paper was supported by grant no. TI023455 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)’ Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA). Completion of this paper was also supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant no. R21 DA045774.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures were reviewed and approved by the Chestnut Health Systems’ Institutional Review Board.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christy K Scott
    • 1
  • Christine E. Grella
    • 1
  • Michael L. Dennis
    • 2
  • Lisa Nicholson
    • 1
  1. 1.Lighthouse InstituteChestnut Health SystemsChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Lighthouse InstituteChestnut Health SystemsNormalUSA

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