Did "Breaking the Cycle" (BTC) Clients Receive Appropriate Treatment Services?

Douglas B. Marlowe, The Treatment Research Institute
Patricia A. Lee, The Treatment Research Institute
David S. Festinger, The Treatment Research Institute
Maria M. Schepise, The Treatment Research Institute

We investigated whether BTC participants in Birmingham received appropriate treatment services given their identified clinical needs. Normative data on the Addiction Severity Index (ASCI) were derived from large, representative samples of non-substance abuse clients (N=9,398), outpatient substance abuse clients (N=2,707), and residential substance abuse clients (N=5,256), and were used to classify BTC participants as having "sub-threshold" (ASI drug composition score <.04), "mild/moderate" (> .094 and <.24), or "severe" (>.24) drug abuse problems. In the BTC sample, 67% of participants were classified as sub-threshold, 29% were mild/moderate, and 4% were severe. Overall, 89% of BTC clients received appropriate substance abuse services given their ASI classification, and 84% of clients received appropriate services given their DSM-IV diagnostic status. However, relatively few clients reported receiving needed adjunctive services (2% of clients with serious employment problems, 12% of clients with serious psychiatric problems, 16% of clients with serious family problems, and 44% of clients with serious medical problems). These data suggest that BTC in Birmingham adequately addressed the substance abuse treatment needs of these felony offenders, but may have been insufficient at treating other service needs in this population.

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Updated 05/20/2006