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Predicting Long-Term Treatment Utilization Among Addicts Entering Detoxification: The Contribution of Help-Seeking Models

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 32 Issue: 1 Dated: Winter 2001 Pages: 209-230
Bhadra Paula Kleinman; Mari Millery; Michael Scimeca; Nayak L. Polissar
Bruce Bullington
Date Published
22 pages
This study examined socio-demographic predictors of the use of long-term treatment and constructs based on theories of help-seeking by many heroin and cocaine addicts following detoxification treatment.
Since long-term drug treatment has been found to provide the best route to reduction in drug abuse by heroin or cocaine addicts, this study examined socio-demographic predictors of the use of long-term treatment and constructs based on theories of help-seeking by heroin and cocaine addicts. Two hundred seventy nine individuals were interviewed upon admission to detoxification and followed up at 30-plus days after leaving detox. It was found that their intention to enter treatment, behavioral beliefs favoring treatment, and perceived behavioral self control contributed significantly to predicting treatment use. The theories of help-seeking behavior relied upon here were the theory of reasoned action (intention to enter long-term treatment), theory of planned behavior (behavioral beliefs plus perceived behavioral control), and the health belief model (perceived beliefs related to health issues), all of which were developed to explain why some people are more likely than others to seek needed medical treatment. Information about the dependent variable, utilization of long-term treatment was based on patient self report by interview 30-plus days after treatment and information on predictor variables was based on interviews conducted at baseline (admission to detox). Sixteen predictor variables drawn from seven domains were selected for inclusion in a final regression analysis. It was found that the indicators of intention, self-efficacy, and behavioral beliefs could be relied upon by future investigators, leading to a recommendation that future treatment detox programs include psychosocial interventions in addition to the usual chemical interventions. And finally, it is emphasized that the interventions need to be in a resource-rich and harmoniously-run detox ward. Tables, notes, and references


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