People with opioid-use disorder who enter treatment are at risk for relapse, overdose or death if they engage in less than two outpatient visits in their first month of care, according to a study coauthored by Rutgers researchers. The study, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, examined the likelihood of patients continuing treatment for opioid-use disorder during their first month in care based on how often they engaged in outpatient visits or other professional services.

“Engagement in outpatient visits or professional services appears to be a necessary condition for adequate care retention,” said study coauthor Stephen Crystal, the director of the Center for Health Services Research at the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and Distinguished Research Professor at the Rutgers School of Social Work. “Monitoring this engagement may help identify and address barriers and disparities in outcomes.” To read the full story.