Health Status, Substance Use, and Service Utilization of Patients in Methadone Treatment: A Race and Gender Comparison
Crum, L., Wechsberg, W. M., Kasten, J. J., & Diesenhaus, H. (2005, December). Health Status, Substance Use, and Service Utilization of Patients in Methadone Treatment: A Race and Gender Comparison. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
The goal of this study was to explore race and gender differences in services needed and services received in a nationally representative sample of patients in methadone treatment. The results confirm that African American and White women and men make up substantial proportions of methadone patients and they come into treatment with a variety of different needs. Women in methadone treatment tend to be younger and are more likely to report more physical health problems, higher levels of stress/anxiety and depression, and more difficulties stemming from emotional problems than men. Men tend to report higher alcohol and marijuana use. African Americans tend to be older; are more likely to report being ill, disabled, unable to work; less likely to report being employed full time; more likely to report using cocaine and needles; and less likely to report using tranquilizers than Whites. Given the apparent greater need for services related to physical and mental health among women, it appears that service providers may be responding in accordance to this differential need. There is no comparable evidence, however, that service providers are treating men more often for non-opiate substance use than women, as one might expect given the greater use of alcohol and marijuana reported by men.