Use of substance abuse services by young uninsured american adults.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of substance abuse service use among uninsured young adults aged 18 to 34 years (N=24,282). METHODS: Data were drawn from the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates of substance abuse service use among persons who met DSM-IV criteria for dependence. RESULTS: Among uninsured young adults (N=5,067), 66 percent lacked any health care coverage for at least one year. In this uninsured group, 72 percent were past-year users of alcohol or drugs (N=2,335). Among past-year alcohol users (N=2,273), 12 percent met criteria for alcohol dependence; among past-year drug users (N=864), 21 percent met dependence criteria. Eighty-seven percent of the uninsured young adults with alcohol or drug dependence did not receive any substance abuse treatment services in the previous year. In the uninsured substance-dependent group, women, blacks, and Hispanics were less likely than men and whites to use substance abuse services. Among those with substance dependence, uninsured persons were more likely than privately insured persons to receive substance abuse services from the self-help or human service (nonmedical) sector. CONCLUSIONS: Racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in the use of substance abuse services are notable among young adults who lack health insurance.
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