Gender Differences Among Latino Subsample in a National Sample of Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
Methods: Survey data were collected from 1995-97 for the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES), a prospective, longitudinal, multisite study of substance abuse treatment programs and their clients in the U.S.. Survey data on treatment organizations were collected from interviews with program administrators, and data about client characteristics and health and social services received as part of substance abuse treatment were collected from clients at treatment entry, treatment exit, and 12-months post-treatment. The analytic sample for this paper consists of 486 Latinos, 339 men and 147 women.
Results: Overall, only 36% of Latino men and 33% of Latino women had graduated high school when they entered treatment. During treatment, Latino women received more health and social services than Latino men including family counseling, mental health counseling, educational and vocational services. There was not a significant difference in the intensity of substance abuse treatment or the amount of time women and men spent in treatment. Further, although both women and men both reduced their 12 month post-treatment drug use, women reduced their drug use more than men. Finally, educational and vocational training was the only health and social service, including substance abuse counseling that was specifically predictive of reduced post-treatment substance use for Latino men and women taken together.
Conclusion/Implications: Findings show that a Latino subsample of clients in our national substance abuse service system, both women and men benefit from substance abuse treatment. Women received more health and social services including more educational and vocational services. The finding that educational and vocational services were specifically predictive of reduced post-treatment drug use at 12 months for Latinos points to the importance of educational and vocational services as an important active ingredient of substance abuse treatment for Latinos, a group that entered treatment with relatively low levels of educational attainment.