Predictors of Substance Abuse Treatment Entry Among Rural Illicit Stimulant Users in Ohio, Arkansas, and Kentucky

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Illicit drug use in the rural United States is increasingly common, yet little is known about drug users' treatment-seeking behaviors. This study identifies predictors of substance abuse treatment entry over 24 months among 710 illicit stimulant users in rural areas of Ohio, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Active users of powdered cocaine, crack cocaine, and/or methamphetamine (MA) were recruited using respondent-driven sampling. Participants completed structured interviews at baseline and follow-up questionnaires every 6 months for 24 months. Data were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model. The paper is informed by the Anderson-Newman Model. Overall, 18.7% of the sample entered treatment. Ohio or Kentucky residence, perceived need for substance abuse treatment, higher Addiction Severity Index (ASI) legal problem composite scores, prior substance abuse treatment, and tranquilizer use were positively associated with treatment entry. Nondaily crack cocaine users and marijuana users were less likely to enter treatment. The findings can help inform rural substance abuse treatment program development and outreach.