238576 What role does current victimization play in relapse for drug-involved offenders?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Janine Zweig, PhD , Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Jennifer Yahner, MA , Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Shelli Rossman, MA , Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Victimization experiences often have negative consequences, with a large literature documenting the links between individuals' victimization experiences, mental health, and substance use. Notably, there is almost no literature about these connections for offender populations. We use data from the Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE) to examine if current experiences with physical or sexual violence lead to substance use relapse—net of the effects of participation in a drug court program and other factors leading to substance use—and if this relationship is mediated by an emotional reaction—that is, depression. MADCE was a longitudinal, quasi-experimental design consisting of 23 drug courts and six comparison jurisdictions (n=958 men and women). Interviews were completed at baseline (when participants enrolled in drug courts or in comparison sites, e.g., probation) and at six and 18 months after baseline. Using multilevel structural equation modeling, we found that both physical and sexual victimization (that occurred within the year before the baseline interview) affected drug use behaviors, net of the effects of 18 control variables including participation in the drug court program. Depression fully mediated the relationship between physical victimization and later substance use and partially mediated the relationship between sexual victimization and later substance use. These findings have implications for service providers in the public health and criminal justice fields. Practitioners providing services to offenders (e.g., health practitioners, treatment providers, probation officers, and drug court personnel) typically do not address victimization-related trauma; addressing such trauma may contribute to progress in treatment and probation compliance.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how physical and sexual victimization relates to subtance use relapse for drug-involved offenders. 2. Identify the mediating mechanisms by which victimization is related to substance use relapse for drug-involved offenders. 3. Formulate programming recommendations for public health and criminal justice practitioners working with drug-involved offenders.

Keywords: Depression, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am second-author on the paper and conducted all analyses and wrote the methods/results sections.
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.