Perceived need for substance abuse treatment among illicit stimulant drug users in rural areas of Ohio, Arkansas, and Kentucky

Russel S. Falck, Jichuan Wang, Robert G. Carlson, Laura L. Krishnan, Carl Leukefeld, Brenda M. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Non-medical drug use in rural communities in the United States is a significant and growing public health threat. Understanding what motivates drug users in rural areas to seek substance abuse treatment may help in addressing the problem. Perceived need for treatment, a construct indicative of problem recognition and belief in problem solution, has been identified as an important predictor of help-seeking behavior. This cross-sectional study used data collected through face-to-face interviews to examine factors associated with perceived need for drug abuse treatment among not-in-treatment, adult, illicit stimulant drug users (n = 710) in rural areas of Ohio, Kentucky, and Arkansas. More than one-quarter of the sample perceived a need for treatment. Results from a stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that white users, users with better physical and mental health status, and occasional users of methamphetamine were significantly less likely to see a need for treatment. Users with higher Addiction Severity Index composite scores for family/social problems or legal problems, and users with prior drug abuse treatment experience were significantly more likely to perceive a need for treatment. These findings have practical implications for efforts addressing substance abuse in rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by United States National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grants 5R01DA014340 and 5R01DA015363. NIDA had no role in the design or conduct of the study. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the funding source. The authors acknowledge the late Harvey A. Siegal, friend and colleague, who helped make this study possible.


  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Perceived need for treatment
  • Rural
  • Substance abuse
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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