Pathways into drug user treatment: The influence of gender and racial/ethnic identity

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Drawing on constructs from models of health behavior change, this paper examines gender and racial/ethnic influences on access to residential drug user treatment. Using a focus group methodology, data were collected from a sample of 65 in-treatment White, Black, and Hispanic men and women. Hispanics were more likely to delay treatment because of a reluctance to acknowledge their addictions and discomfort at being separated from family. Females reported more negative expectations about treatment than males and more use of drugs to bolster self-esteem. Responsibility to children represented the most powerful catalyst to treatment for women. Implications for improving access to treatment for women and minorities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-342
Number of pages20
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • African-Americans
  • Hispanics
  • access to drug user treatment
  • drug treatment
  • women


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