Predictors of Drug Abuse Treatment Entry Among Crack-Cocaine Smokers

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The goal of this study was to identify factors that predicted drug abuse treatment program entry among a community sample of 430 crack-cocaine users. Subjects were recruited using a targeted sampling methodology and responded to interviewer-administered questionnaires at 6 months intervals over a 3-year period. At baseline, 40.5% (n = 174) reported they had never been in a drug abuse treatment program. During the observation period, 37.7% (n = 162) of the sample reported they had entered a program. Of these, 43.8% (n = 71) reported that their treatment was court-ordered. Slightly more than one-quarter (n = 44) entered treatment for the first time. A host of variables, including individual characteristics, frequency and duration of crack use, frequency of drunkenness, Addiction Severity Index (ASI) family/social, medical, and psychiatric status composite scores, perceived need for treatment, history of treatment, and medical insurance coverage, was explored. The results of Cox proportional hazards model suggested that younger people, users with more severe legal problems, people who perceived a need for treatment, and individuals with prior treatment experience had a greater likelihood of entering treatment. Developing a strategy to practically apply these findings may facilitate treatment entry among a population involved with a dangerous and debilitating drug.

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