A longitudinal analysis of urine drug tests using technology to monitor both treatment medication compliance and abstinence from illicit drug use has found a significant upward trend of improvement in both variables. The research, which earlier this year was cited as the best scientific abstract at the annual conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), has now been published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
Data for the study were derived from Rhode Island-based Dominion Diagnostics' Comprehensive Analysis of Reported Drugs (CARD), an advanced urine drug screen that developers refer to as a biological tool to improve patient outcome. Drug test data were collected in 2010 and 2011 in six Eastern states, analyzing both abstinence from drug abuse and adherence to prescribed medication compliance.
The research indicated a significant lack of medication compliance and illicit drug abstinence (a 60.8% non-abstinence rate) when only the first and last specimen was analyzed in a group of nearly 3,000 patients who received at least one treatment medication. Yet a longitudinal analysis of 511 patients, examining all drug tests conducted, found a significant upward trend of improvement in both areas.
The researchers also found that abstinence from illicit drugs was significantly higher among individuals in residential treatment programs, compared with those treated in other facilities.