Need-service matching in substance abuse treatment: racial/ethnic differences

Eval Program Plann. 2009 Feb;32(1):43-51. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2008.09.003. Epub 2008 Oct 5.


This study examines the impact of ancillary health and social services matched to client needs in substance abuse treatment for African Americans, Latinos and Whites. The study uses data collected from 1992 to 1997 for the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study, a prospective cohort study of substance abuse treatment programs and their clients. The analytic sample consists of 3142 clients (1812 African Americans, 486 Latinos, 844 Whites) from 59 treatment facilities. Results show that racial/ethnic minorities are underserved compared to Whites in the substance abuse service system. Different racial/ethnic groups come into treatment with distinct needs and receive distinct services. Although groups respond differentially to service types, substance abuse counseling and matching services to needs is an effective strategy both for retaining clients in treatment and for reducing post-treatment substance use for African Americans and Whites. Receipt of access services was related to reduced post-treatment substance use for Latinos. Study findings are relevant to planning special services for African Americans and Latinos.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cultural Competency
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Social Work / methods*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • United States
  • Young Adult