University of Iowa Study Shows Large Racial Disparities in Drug Treatment Success Rates

iowaA study by researchers at the University of Iowa found large racial disparities in success rates of people in drug treatment programs at the state level. The study analyzed data on more than 940,000 people who were registered in substance abuse treatment programs at outpatient facilities between 2006 and 2008.

The data showed that nationwide 46.3 percent of White patients successfully completed the substance abuse treatment programs compared to 37.5 percent of Blacks. But there were wide discrepancies between the states. Tennessee had the largest racial disparity. There was a 35 percentage point difference in completion rates between Blacks and Whites. But in three states –  Hawaii, Utah, and Mississippi – the percentage of Blacks who completed the programs was higher than the percentage of Whites who did so.

Stephan Arndt, a professor of psychiatry and biostatistics at the University of Iowa and lead author of the study, said, “We need to examine the states that are being successful and compare what they are doing with those states that are not doing so well. What can be learn from the successful states.?”

The research was published on the website of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. It may be accessed here.


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  1. George says:

    In order to help ensure that more minorities take up drug rehab a lot more needs to be in terms of outreach. The statistics are alarming but not yet depressing so more rehab centers need to look at their own marketing to ensure that people from all minorities are targeted with extra emphasis on the minorities.

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