When is it appropriate for someone with substance use disorder to be hospitalized? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Deaths due to substance use disorder are skyrocketing. Eric Strain, a substance use disorder expert at Johns Hopkins, says although it is tempting to think everyone with substance use disorder should be hospitalized, other forms of care may be more appropriate.

Strain: Hospitalization should be the peak of the triangle, so very small, and then we should be thinking about devoting more resources to thinks like residential services, which are lower cost on a per day basis, can treat a larger number of people and there’s probably more people with things like mental health substance abuse and general medical care that don’t need to be in a hospital but need to be in some supervised environment to get them stabilized.  :28

Strain says that staff shortages are impacting hospital-based care in all specialty areas, including mental health and substance use disorder, and notes that residential treatment centers may also enable more coordinated services. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.