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Long-Run Abstinence after Narcotics Abuse: What Are the Odds?

Marnik G. Dekimpe, Linda M. Van de Gucht, Dominique M. Hanssens and Keiko I. Powers
Management Science
Vol. 44, No. 11, Part 1 of 2 (Nov., 1998), pp. 1478-1492
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2634894
Page Count: 15
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Long-Run Abstinence after Narcotics Abuse: What Are the Odds?
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Abstract

We consider the long-run odds that narcotics users remain abstinent after methadone treatment. A flexible split-hazard specification that allows for individual-level differences in both the long-run probability of eventual relapse and the short-run timing of relapse is developed. The model is applied to a comprehensive data set involving individual drug abuse and treatment histories for over 800 addicts. Our findings indicate (1) that the short-run success of methadone programs does not automatically translate into long-run abstinence, which suggests the need for aftercare, (2) the value of preventing a teenager or young adult from initiating, and (3) the possibility of identifying high-risk groups, both in terms of age of first daily use and in terms of ethnicity.

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