Treatment outcomes for prescription drug misusers: The negative effect of geographic discordance

Carrie B. Oser, Kathi L.H. Harp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This is the first known study to examine geographic discordance (traveling from one's home residence to a county with a different socio-cultural context to receive substance abuse treatment) as a predictor of clinical and social functioning treatment outcomes (i.e., relapse, self-help attendance, anxiety, and incarceration) among a sample of prescription drug misusers. Treatment entry and 12-month follow-up client-level survey data were collected from 187 clients who misused prescription drugs, and center-level survey data were collected from the supervisors at treatment centers attended by the clients. Multivariate models reveal that geographic discordance significantly increased the odds that prescription drug misusers would report relapse to prescription opioid misuse, anxiety, and any incarceration at follow-up. Moreover, geographically discordant clients were significantly less likely to have attended a self-help group, net of the effect of other individual- and center-level factors. Implications for clinical practice and substance abuse treatment policy are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc.


  • Geographic discordance
  • Prescription drug misuse
  • Rural
  • Treatment outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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