Trends and mental health correlates of nonmedical opioid use among criminal justice-involved African American men

Joi Sheree’ Knighton, Danelle Stevens-Watkins, Michele Staton, Kevin Pangburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed nonmedical opioid use (NMOU) an epidemic. Population-based survey data indicate high rates of NMOU among Caucasians, however, these estimates exclude incarcerated samples and may underestimate use among criminal justice-involved African Americans. Despite opioid-associated risks of co-occurring mental illness and mortality, to our knowledge, this is the first study to examine NMOU and mental health among a sample of African American men receiving corrections-based substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in jail, prison, or the community. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study examining trends and mental health correlates of NMOU during the year prior to each participant's incarceration, across five cohorts of African American men (N = 4021) enrolled in corrections-based SUD treatment between the years, 2010 and 2014. A series of chi-square, ANOVAs, correlations, and logistic regression models were conducted. Results: Over 20% of our sample reported NMOU during the year prior to incarceration. On average, participants were 36-years-old, earned 13 years of education, and were generally unemployed, prior to incarceration. We found a statistically significant positive linear trend between NMOU prior to incarceration and cohort year. The final stepwise multivariate regression model was significant and revealed, older age was associated with lower odds of NMOU. More years of education and frequent mental health symptoms were associated with significantly increased odds of NMOU. Discussion: Our findings are unique in that extant literature has primarily described NMOU as a ‘White suburban’ problem. Culturally-adapted behavioral interventions and medication assisted therapies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume85
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was sponsored and supported by the Kentucky Department of Corrections [ PON2 527 1400001912 ] and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) [ T32-DA035200 ; and K08-DA032296 ]. However, the information reported in the manuscript is not reflective of views endorsed by the Kentucky Department of Corrections or NIDA.

Funding Information:
This research was sponsored and supported by the Kentucky Department of Corrections [ PON2 527 1400001912 ] and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) [ T32-DA035200 ; and K08-DA032296 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Criminal justice
  • Mental health
  • Nonmedical opioid use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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