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Assessing the Need for Treatment in the Arrestee Population

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime and Justice Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Dated: 1998 Pages: 173-190
T L Baumer
Date Published
18 pages
Data from adult arrestees in six Indiana counties were used to estimate the prevalence of dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs and the correlates of drug dependence.
The research was designed to correct many of the methodological problems of the Drug Use Forecasting program and to focus on drug dependence rather than on recent drug use. The sites were selected for their population size and representativeness on an indicator of the level of criminal justice activity. Computer-assisted interviews of 1,012 adult arrestees were conducted in the jails or lockup facilities in all 6 jurisdictions over a 5-week period. Results indicated that 52.3 percent of the arrestees reported symptoms of alcohol dependence, while 18.1 percent were dependent on marijuana and 16.3 percent were dependent on cocaine. Overall, 60.8 percent of the arrestees had been dependent on at least one substance; 29.8 percent were dependent on a drug other than alcohol. Findings suggested that the need for drug treatment is very high in the arrestee population. The multivariate analysis also suggested that although the need for treatment is consistently present, the nature of the problem varies by jurisdiction. Findings indicated that chronic substance abuse has a major role in behaviors that lead to arrest and that the arrestee population represents a rich population for dependence screening and treatment programs. Tables, notes, and 9 references (Author abstract modified)


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