Asian Americans in Community-Based Substance Abuse Treatment

Service Needs, Utilization, and Outcomes

Published In: Journal of Substance Abuse treatment, v. 33, no. 3, Oct. 2007, p. 313-319

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Noosha Niv, Eunice C. Wong, Yih-Ing Hser

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The objectives of this study were to examine differences in substance abuse treatment needs, treatment utilization, and outcomes between Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and others. Data were collected from 452 AAPI and a matched sample of 403 non-AAPI who were admitted to 43 drug treatment programs across California. A subset of these participants was assessed at 3 months (n = 112) and 9 months (n = 140) after treatment admission. Differences in pretreatment characteristics, treatment retention and completion, services received, and treatment outcomes were examined. AAPI presented to treatment with lower alcohol and drug severity lower than the comparison group and similar problem severity in other domains. There were no group differences in treatment retention, but AAPI received a greater number of legal services and fewer medical and psychiatric services than the comparison group. AAPI also received fewer total services within their treatment program. Treatment outcomes were similar between the two groups, with one exception: AAPI demonstrated better alcohol outcomes than those in the comparison group.

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