Lifetime use of mental health and substance abuse treatment services by incarcerated women felons.
OBJECTIVE: This study examined the lifetime use of alcohol, drug, and mental health treatment services by recently incarcerated women prison inmates. METHODS: A total of 805 women entering a North Carolina prison for new felony charges in 1991 and 1992 were interviewed in person shortly after incarceration. The women were assessed for psychiatric disorders and lifetime use of substance abuse and mental health treatment services. Rates of service use were analyzed by inmate characteristics and were compared with rates for a sample of women in the community in North Carolina. RESULTS: The majority of women inmates reported a history of using substance abuse services or mental health services or both. Those with psychiatric disorders and prison recidivists were the most likely to have used such services. Rates of service use were substantially higher for the inmates than for the women in the community, even when the effects of having a psychiatric or substance use disorder were controlled for. CONCLUSIONS: Many of the incarcerated women in the study met lifetime criteria for alcohol, drug, and mental health disorders that were significantly related to their use of substance abuse and mental health treatment services. The majority of the inmates met criteria for a current disorder despite past treatment. Further research is needed to help in developing programs to reduce women inmates' alcohol, drug, and mental health problems.
Jordan, BK; Federman, EB; Burns, BJ; Schlenger, WE; Fairbank, JA; Caddell, JM
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