This study examines the role of family status and demographic characteristics in explaining the nearly 60% dropout rate for women in substance abuse treatment. Data from the administrative record files of the Illinois Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASA) for the fiscal year 1996-97 were analyzed for women age 12 or older who completed intake for publicly funded substance abuse treatment and whose outpatient treatment records were closed at year-end. Multivariate logistic regression models found that the likelihood of not completing treatment was greatest for women who were African American, pregnant, had custody of minor children, or were younger than age 21. However, African American women who had children in foster care were more likely to complete treatment. Implications for treatment and research are discussed.