The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3326.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 10

Abstract #59392

Associations of mental and physical health with longevity in treatment: Characteristics of homeless substance abusers presenting for the Safeport residential treatment program

William N. Elwood, PhD, Guidance Clinic of the Middle Keys, Inc., 3355 Donald Avenue, Key West, FL 33040-4488, 305/295-9929, and Kathryn Greene, PhD, School of Communication, Information, and Library Sciences, Rutgers University, 4 Huntington Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Illegal drug users' problems include homelessness, mental and physical ailments, and a dearth of life skills. As members of a hidden population, they frequently avoid accessing care for these problems, let alone their addictions. Consequently, these problems can remain untreated until they reach crisis proportions. The Safeport program helps clients address all these related problems in a residential treatment setting within a public housing community. Clients, homeless drug users and public housing tenants in danger of eviction due to drug-related problems, receive psychiatric and therapeutic services from the program-which also connects them to treatment for their physical ailments. Individuals presenting for treatment (N=150) in 2002 and 2003 completed an Addiction Severity Index and a dyadic interview with a certified clinician reported the following medical issues: 33% (50/150) reported Hepatitis C; 30% (45/150) reported diabetes; 10% (15/150) reported genital herpes; and 8% (12/150) reported HIV/AIDS. All individuals were dually diagnosed with at least one DSM-IV symptom. There were no statistically significant differences in medical/mental health diagnoses significant differences between those found suitable for treatment. Surprisingly, those who reported medical problems were more likely to be admitted and to remain in treatment than those who reported no medical problems. Our findings reiterate the multiple related needs of drug users and demonstrate the need to coordinate care for all such needs during treatment.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Substance Abuse Treatment, Health Assessment

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Guidance Clinic of the Middle Keys, INc.
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am employed by the Guidance Clinic to be the evaluator of the Safeport treatment program.

Effects of Gender, Race; and Mental Health on Substance Abuse and Treatment Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA