Rural Drug Users: Factors Associated with Substance Abuse Treatment Utilization

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The purpose of this study is to use a modified version of Andersen’s (1968, 1995) Behavioral Model of Health Services Use to identify the correlates of the number of substance abuse treatment episodes received by rural drug users. Data were collected from face-to-face interviews with 711 drug users in rural areas of Ohio, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Descriptive analyses examine rural drug users’ substance use histories and retrospective substance abuse treatment service utilization patterns. A negative binomial regression model indicated that selected predisposing, historical health, and enabling factors were significantly associated with the utilization of substance abuse treatment among rural drug users. Despite high levels of recent and lifetime self-reported substance use among these rural drug users, treatment services were underutilized. Future studies are needed to examine the impact of the health care system and characteristics of the external environment associated with rural substance abuse treatment in order to increase utilization among drug users.