Employment and work among drug court clients: 12-Month outcomes

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28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Employment contributes to drug abuse treatment success and is an important treatment outcome (Institute of Medicine, 1990). However, few tailored employment interventions are available. This project developed an employment intervention focused on obtaining, maintaining, and upgrading employment. The current study, approved by an IRB, uses 12-month outcomes to examine intervention dosage effects. Participants were 500 clients who entered two Kentucky drug court programs between March 2000 and November 2002. Measures included demographics, drug/alcohol use, criminality, employment, and education measures from the Addiction Severity Index (McLellan, Luborsky, Woody, and O'Brien, 1980) as well as specific employment measures. To examine the intervention, the number of intervention upgrading sessions attended was divided by the number of possible upgrading sessions. Session attendance percentages were then used to median split into a low upgrading group and a high upgrading group and were compared with the no intervention group. These three groups were used in a series of ANOVA and chi-square analyses to examine differences at 12-month follow-up. When employment, legal work, illegal work, and employment problems were examined for one year and 30 days at follow-up, there were significant effects for jobs in the past year, days worked at a legitimate job in both the past year as well as 30 days, and income from a legitimate job in the past year. Participants in the high upgrade group received maximum employment benefits. Since legal earnings increased and illegal earnings decreased, drug-user treatment programs and practitioners should assess and refer clients to employment interventions. Tailored employment interventions should be tested to keep drug users in treatment and to increase treatment outcome. The study's limitations are noted and future needed research is suggested. The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1126
Number of pages18
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume42
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Grant R01 DA113076 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; Carl G. Leukefeld, principal investigator; and by the staff and resources of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky. Portions of this article were presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence in Orlando, Florida, 2005. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the position of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Funding Information:
tested to keep drug users in treatment and to increase treatment outcome. The study’s limitations are noted and future needed research is suggested. The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Keywords

  • Drug court
  • Drug user treatment
  • Employment
  • Evidence-based
  • Follow-up
  • Intervention
  • Outcomes
  • Protective factors
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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