Individual and social network correlates of recent treatment for substance use disorders among persons who use drugs in Baltimore, MD (2014 - 2017)

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Dec 1;217:108278. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108278. Epub 2020 Sep 13.


Background: This analysis examined individual and network correlates of treatment enrollment for substance use disorders (SUDs) in the past 6 months and whether these factors varied by type(s) of drug(s) used and type of SUD treatment received.

Methods: Between 2014 and 2017, 330 Baltimore residents who reported using heroin, crack, and/or cocaine in the past 6 months completed a survey to assess demographics, substance use, recent SUD treatment enrollment, and information about their network members. The primary outcome was recent enrollment in any type of SUD treatment (i.e., methadone maintenance, detox, residential, outpatient, and meetings/self-help) vs. none. Using logistic regression, recent SUD treatment enrollment was regressed on individual and network characteristics.

Results: Overall, 214 were enrolled in some form of SUD treatment in the past 6 months (56.6% Methadone Maintenance, 29.8% Detox, 25.9% Residential, 47.8% Outpatient, and 90.7% Meetings/Self-Help). The median number of network members listed was 4.0 (interquartile range: 4-6). In the adjusted model, the odds of SUD treatment enrollment increased with each additional network member who was currently enrolled in SUD treatment (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]:2.22; 95%CI:1.47-3.33). The odds of SUD treatment enrollment decreased by 35% for each additional network member who used heroin, crack, and/or cocaine and could provide them with social support (AOR:0.65; 95%CI:0.48-1.88).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest a complex link between the intersecting roles of network members and SUD treatment outcomes among persons who use drugs and the importance of collecting detailed social network information on the different domains of social support provided.

Keywords: Substance use disorder; heroin; medication for opioid use disorder; social network; social support; substance use disorder treatment enrollment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Baltimore / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Social Networking*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Treatment Outcome