Social contextual factors associated with entry into opiate agonist treatment among injection drug users

Jacqueline J. Lloyd, Erin P. Ricketts, Steffanie A. Strathdee, Llewellyn J. Cornelius, David Bishai, Steven Huettner, Jennifer R. Havens, Carl Latkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We tested hypotheses that social living arrangement and drug use in one's network are independently associated with entry into opiate agonist treatment modalities. Injection drug users (IDUs) attending the Baltimore Needle Exchange Program who received a referral for drug abuse treatment were studied. Baseline interviews, HIV testing, and the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) were administered. Agency records were used to confirm entry into a treatment program offering opiate agonist maintenance therapy within 30 days of the baseline interview. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of treatment entry. To date, of 245 IDUs, 39% entered such a program. Multivariate logistic regression models controlling for age and intervention status revealed that compared to individuals who lived alone, in a controlled, or nonstable environment (e.g., streets, abandoned house, transitional housing program, or boarding house), individuals who lived with a sexual partner were 3 times more likely to enter treatment (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] = 3.04; p=0.013) and those who lived with family or friends were almost 3 times more likely to enter treatment (aOR=2.72; p=0.016). In the bivariate analyses, a marginal association was observed between being responsible for children or others and entry into treatment (p=0.066); however, this association was not significant in the multivariate model. Findings from this study suggest that supportive living environments may facilitate entry into treatment and may be helpful in devising appropriate and targeted interventions to encourage drug treatment entry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-570
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by grant number DA09225, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In addition, the authors thank our study participants and staff of the Baltimore Needle Exchange Project.


  • Injection drug users
  • Living arrangement
  • Social network
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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