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Minorities Less Likely to Complete Substance Abuse Treatment in Many States


A state-by-state analysis of substance abuse treatment programs finds that in many states, minorities are less likely than whites to successfully complete substance abuse programs. The analysis found significant disparities among states with regard to racial and ethnic differences.

Overall, 46.25 percent of whites, 45.6 percent of Latinos, and 37.5 percent of African-Americans completed substance abuse treatment programs, Newswise reports. In Tennessee, African-American clients were 35 percent less likely to complete treatment programs, compared with whites. In Vermont, Latinos were almost 22 percent less likely than whites to complete treatment programs.

While Latinos and African-Americans had lower completion rates in many states, there were some exceptions, the University of Iowa researchers found. In Hawaii, Utah and Mississippi, African-American clients were slightly more likely than whites to complete programs. Latinos were more likely than whites to complete programs in 17 states, including Texas, Florida, Oregon and Kansas.

“Our findings suggest that for most states there’s something amiss,” researcher Stephan Arndt, PhD, said in a news release. “There are strong racial and ethnic disparities for people in being able to complete substance abuse treatment programs successfully, and those disparities are something we need to set as targets to remove.”

Arndt added, “On the positive side, the study clearly shows that some states have been able to eliminate disparities. We need to examine the states that are being successful and compare what they are doing with those states that are not doing so well – what can we learn from successful states?”

The study appears in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. It included data from 940,058 participants in outpatient substance abuse treatment centers.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of George
    George / July 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    When it comes to the figures you mention in your article it’s clear that more outreach to minority communities needs to be done on order to help promote drug rehab programs.

  2. Fr. Jack Kearney / June 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I wonder if this also correlates to economic status…people with money can certainly get a higher standard of care in treatment.

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