Cluster: Gender and Ethnicity
Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD, University of Chicago
Saturday, January 16, 2010: 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Golden Gate (Hyatt Regency)
Despite growing evidence related to effective substance abuse treatment, only a small proportion of those who need treatment in the U.S. actually receive it. Estimates suggest that as few as 10% of people with substance abuse and dependence disorders ever obtain services for their condition. Limitations in access to substance abuse treatment is particularly problematic for women. Evidence suggests that while women are increasingly involved in substance use, the representation of women in substance abuse treatment has remained consistent at roughly one-third of the total numbers of individuals in treatment. Given that the medical, social, and economic consequences of untreated substance abuse are especially serious for women, gender disparities in access to substance abuse treatment represents a serious problem for public health and safety. Little research has examined gender differences in patterns of treatment admission on either a system or programmatic level. And, while a broad base of research has demonstrated that substance abuse is a dynamic phenomenon, little is known about how patterns of admission to treatment have changed over time for women and men. Questions also remain about access to special programs for women as well as about the specific factors that may limit access for women and men and for subgroups of women and men. These questions are particularly important in light of the well-documented challenges to insuring access for those most in need of substance abuse treatment in our national service system.
This symposiums will bring together analyses of service access across four large-scale data sets of substance abuse treatment programs: the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES), a large, prospective study of substance abuse treatment programs; the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a national probability sample of US households; the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), a data set of all admissions to U.S. substance abuse treatment facilities that receive state alcohol and/or drug agency funds; and National Drug Abuse Treatment Survey (NDATS), a national panel study of substance abuse treatment programs. All are studies that include measures of service access and factors related to access across diverse subpopulations of clients. The papers in the symposium will address the following three questions:
(1) What are underlying conceptualization and measurement of access services used in the analysis?
(2) To what extent does the analysis inform understanding of gender disparities and factors contributing to disparities in access to substance abuse treatment?
(3) What are implications of the findings for developing strategies to increase accessibility and equity in the provision of substance abuse treatment services.
* noted as presenting author