An organizational analysis of service patterns in outpatient drug abuse treatment units

Thomas D'Aunno, Thomas E. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effectiveness of drug abuse treatment depends in part on meeting clients' medical and social needs related to drug abuse. Yet, we know little about the type and amount of medical and social services that clients receive in outpatient drug abuse treatment units. This article addresses this issue, drawing from conceptual perspectives in organizational theory and using data from a national random sample of 481 outpatient treatment units that participated in a phone survey in both 1988 and 1990. We examine the extent to which clients in these units receive: physical (medical) and mental health care; special treatment for multiple drug abuse; and employment, financial, and legal counseling. Results from a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicate that there was a significant decrease from 1988 to 1990 in all of the services we examined. Regression analyses were conducted to identify organizational and client characteristics related to these decrease. Results show that changes in both client characteristics and key organizational factors (e.g., resources, staffing) are significantly related to decreases in the services clients receive. Implications for meeting the medical and social service needs of drug abuse clients are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of substance abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'An organizational analysis of service patterns in outpatient drug abuse treatment units'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this