Barriers to substance abuse treatment in rural and urban communities: Counselor perspectives

Erin Pullen, Carrie Oser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to compare rural and urban substance abuse counselors' perceptions of barriers to providing effective treatment services. Data were collected from 28 substance abuse counselors in Kentucky during four focus group sessions in 2008. Line-by-line coding and memoing were used by two raters on the transcribed data to isolate findings. The results of this study suggest that, though rural and urban counselors encounter similar constraints that hamper successful treatment outcomes, rural counselors are subject to special circumstances within their communities that present unique challenges to treatment efficacy. Novel contributions, implications, and limitations are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-901
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (K01-DA021309, PI: Oser).


  • Counselors
  • Qualitative
  • Rural
  • Treatment
  • Treatment barriers
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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