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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2003 Oct-Dec;35(4):503-10.

Treatment readiness among out-of-treatment African-American crack users.

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RTI International, 3040 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Crack cocaine use is linked to high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as violence and criminal activity. Substance abuse treatment can play an important role in reducing drug use and related problems. However, many crack users do not want treatment, and those who do often encounter significant obstacles to access. This study compares 216 out-of-treatment African-American crack users who reported wanting to enter treatment with 129 who did not want treatment. In bivariate analyses, participants wanting treatment in the next 30 days were more likely to report needing help with medical care, daily crack use, physical abuse, transportation issues, and legal pressure to enter treatment. Predictors of treatment readiness in multiple logistic regression analysis included gender, daily crack use, legal pressure, depression, and problem recognition. Fear of physical abuse and previous treatment admissions were associated with decreased odds of wanting treatment. The many unmet needs reported by crack users motivated for treatment suggest that treatment entry and retention could be facilitated by pretreatment and more comprehensive and ancillary treatment services.

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