Evaluating the Impact of Substance Use Disorder Resources on Outcomes of Persons Who Inject Drugs with Infections

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J Addict Med


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of inpatient substance use disorder (SUD) resources on outcomes of persons who inject stimulants and/or opioids (PWIDs) with infections.

METHODS: This retrospective cohort evaluated PWIDs hospitalized from July 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, and prescribed an antimicrobial course. The patients were compared based on inpatient implementation of SUD resources, including consultation of addiction medicine/behavioral health, implementation of an opioid withdrawal treatment protocol, or continuation/initiation of medications for opioid use disorder. The primary outcome was a composite of antibiotic completion, no unplanned discharge, and no 30-day readmission. Notable secondary outcomes included length of stay and presence of stigmatizing language in the electronic medical record.

RESULTS: A total of 119 patients were analyzed-74 (62.2%) received SUD resources. The primary outcome was met by 43 patients with SUD resources implemented (58.1%) and 19 patients without resources (42.2%, P = 0.093). After adjustment for infection type, implementation of SUD resources (adjusted odds ratio, 2.593; 95% confidence interval, 1.162-5.789) was independently associated with primary outcome success. The patients who received SUD resources had a median length of stay of 7 days (4-13.3) compared with 4 days (2-6.5) in those without resources (P < 0.001). Stigmatizing language was present in 98% of patient electronic medical records.

CONCLUSIONS: Patient care provided to PWIDs with infections is optimized when SUD resources are implemented. This study further supports the necessity of improving SUD management when PWIDs are admitted to healthcare facilities.

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ePub ahead of print