Barriers to Formal Drug Abuse Treatment in the Rural South: A Preliminary Ethnographic Assessment

Rocky L. Sexton, Robert G. Carlson, Carl G. Leukefeld, Brenda M. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes barriers to obtaining drug abuse treatment in the rural South using qualitative interviews conducted with 86 illicit stimulant users recruited in rural Arkansas and Kentucky between 2003 and 2005. Fifty-nine (69.0%) of the interviewees had never entered drug abuse treatment. Sixteen (19.0%) participants reported current perceived need for treatment, while seven (8%) were ambivalent about seeking it. Interview data suggest five interrelated categories of barriers to accessing drug abuse treatment: (1) geographical, (2) organizational, (3) economic, (4) social, and (5) psychological. The study findings can inform further examination of rural treatment barriers and have important implications for developing strategies to overcome these obstacles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Barriers to drug abuse treatment
  • Ethnography
  • Rural south

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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