Program Capacity to Deliver Prevention Services to Children of Adult Clients Receiving Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Published in: The Journal of Primary Prevention, pages 1-13 (2019). doi: 10.1007/s10935-019-00551-6

Posted on RAND.org on May 29, 2019

by Erick G. Guerrero, Howard Padwa, Veronica Serret, Melvin Rico, Sarah B. Hunter, Lillian Gelberg

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Children whose parents have a history of substance use are at elevated risk of developing substance use disorders (SUDs) and related debilitating behaviors. Although specialty treatment programs are uniquely positioned to deliver prevention care to children of adult clients, these programs may have limited capacity to implement prevention and early intervention care services, particularly in racial and ethnic minority communities. We merged data from program surveys and client records collected in 2015 to examine the extent to which program capacity factors are associated with the odds of delivering prevention and early intervention services for children of adult clients attending outpatient SUD treatment in low-income minority communities in Los Angeles County, California. Our analytic sample consisted of 16,712 clients embedded in 82 programs. Our results show that 85% of these programs reported delivering prevention care services, while 71% of programs delivered early intervention services. Programs with organizational climates supporting change and those that served a high number of clients annually were more likely to implement both prevention and early intervention practices. Programs accepting Medicaid payments and serving clients whose primary drug was marijuana were more than three times as likely to implement prevention services. Overall, our findings suggest both program- and client-level characteristics are associated with delivering preventive care offered to children of adult clients receiving SUD treatment in communities of color. As Medicaid has become a major payor of SUD treatment services and marijuana use has been legalized in California, findings identify capacity factors to deliver public health prevention interventions in one of the nation's largest public SUD treatment systems.

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