208537 Racial/ethnic Disparities in Patterns and Correlates of Adolescent Treatment Completion from Publicly Funded Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:48 AM

Mesfin S. Mulatu, PhD, MPH , National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, & TB Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Dionne C. Godette, PhD , Department of Health Promotion & Behavior, University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Athens, GA
Suzanne M. Randolph, PhD , Center for Community Prevention and Treatment Research, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, PhD , Center for Technical Assistance, Training, and Research Support, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Kristianna Pettibone, PhD , Program Analysis Branch/Division of Extramural Research and Training, National Institute of Environmental Health Science, Morrisville, NC
BACKGROUND: Recovery from substance abuse (SA) depends, in part, on completion of recommended treatment. This study assesses differences in rates and correlates of treatment completion (TC) among adolescents admitted to publicly funded SA programs.

METHODS: We used admission and discharge linked data from Treatment Episodes Data Set(2001-2004). Analytic sample consisted of adolescents (12-17 years) with valid data on variables of interest (n=73,100). We conducted multivariate logistic regression analyses to examine racial/ethnic differences in rates and correlates of TC.

RESULTS: We found significantly lower TC rates among African Americans (33.5%) and Hispanics (39.4%) compared to Whites (45.1%) both before and after adjustment for covariates (p <.05). Among all groups, TC rates were higher among adolescents who were employed, privately insured, and stayed in treatment longer. In contrast, TC rates were lower among adolescents who used drugs more frequently, those who self- or family-referred for treatment, and those who had multiple prior admissions. Type, number, route and age at first use of drugs and co-occurring psychiatric disorders were related to TC differently among different racial/ethnic groups. For example, earlier age of drug use initiation and current use of multiple drugs were negatively associated with TC among Whites but not among African Americans.

CONCLUSIONS: There are large differences in TC rates between minority and White adolescents in publicly funded outpatient SA programs. These disparities are only partially explained by socio-economic and substance abuse differences. Efforts to understand and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in TC would require examination of broader contextual and structural factors.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the patterns of racial/ethnic difference in treatment completion among adolescents entering outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Identify the correlates of racial/ethnic differences in treatment completion among adults entering outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Discuss the policy implications of racial/ethnic disparities in patterns and correlates of completion of substance abuse treatment.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have more than several years of public health research and evaluation experience in mental health, substance abuse and treatment outcomes, and social and behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS. I have also authored or co-authored several publications in peer-reviewed journals and presented findings in a variety of scientific conferences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.