e into San
Francisco General Hospital Medical Center's emergency room to methadone maintenance treatments by
either assigning them to a case manager who will move them into treatment or by giving them a voucher
good for six months at an area methadone clinic. This isn't treatment as usual: doctors or nurses
noticing needle marks on a patient's arms, treating them and giving them a referral to a treatment
program, said James Sorensen, PhD, adjunct professor of psychiatry and co- principal investigator who
is based at the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.
"This kind of outreach isn't usually done," he said. "Usually, treatment programs wait for the
patients to come to them."
The goal is to get addicts into treatment right away, he said. "The emergency room is a great
place to catch them," Sorensen said. "Otherwise, they are out there living on the streets and in parks
and we never see them. It's a way we can have access to this group of people who would be better off
if we got them into treatment."
The study will enroll 120 participants who will be followed for a year and a half to see if they
go into methadone treatment, what other kinds of services they use and what kinds of problems were
they having with their addiction.
Sorenson also is overseeing another study that will test voucher based incentives to encourage
HIV/AIDS positive patients enrolled in San Francisco General's methadone program to take their
medicine on schedule and stay drug free. Patients can receive vouchers redeemable for goods and
services, such as groceries, if their urine samples turn out drug free or if they take their medicine.
Doctors can tell if patients have been taking their medication by having information downloaded off a
computer chip placed on the cap of the medicine bottle that indicates when and how often the bottle
has been opened.
The grant will also be used to train case managers on how to treat their client's drug abuse-whiPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Leslie Harris
University of California - San Francisco
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