Perceived need for drug treatment among African American male drug-using prisoners

Jardin Dogan, Danelle Stevens-Watkins, Joi Sheree Knighton, Paris Wheeler, Candice Hargons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Since 2016, African Americans have experienced the largest increase in cocaine-related drug overdose deaths compared to other racial/ethnic groups. African American male prisoners who used drugs prior to incarceration are at an increased risk for relapse and overdose upon community re-entry. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior as a guiding framework, this study examined correlates of perceived need for treatment among 193 drug-using incarcerated African American men nearing release. Linear regression analyses revealed that the number of lifetime drug overdoses, severity of legal problems, and previous drug treatment significantly predicted a need for treatment. Further, more frequent drug use, specifically crack cocaine, in the month prior to incarceration predicted a higher perceived need for drug treatment. Implications suggest this population demonstrates a need for treatment, which may be exacerbated by re-entry stressors. Preventative measures, including culturally tailored treatment and transitional care from prison to community-based services, are necessary to reduce risk of relapse and overdose among this group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108166
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • African Americans
  • Community Re-entry
  • Drug treatment
  • Male prisoners
  • Theory of Planned Behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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