Predictors of Treatment Outcome in Drug Courts

Drug Court

Predictors of Treatment Outcome in Drug Courts

Employment and history of injection drug use significant predictors (controlling for age, education, ethnicity, gender, marital status) (Roll et al., 2005)

  • Employment was associated with completion of drug court – specifically, participants who were employed at the time of initial participation were almost 14 times more likely than unemployed participants to graduate. Thus, screening for employment may help determine a potential candidate’s likelihood of success in the program
  • History of injection drug use predicted poor outcomes, as those with no history of injection drug use at the time of enrollment were almost 5 and a half times more likely to graduate than those with a history of injection drug use. Those with injection drug use likely have more severe substance use problems, which could contribute to the poorer outcome in drug courts. Screening for history of injection drug use may be helpful to determine suitability for participation in drug court and whether or not they may respond to more intensive treatment
  • The sample used in this study was majority White (about 56%), Hispanics represented 26% of the sample and African-Americans represented 13% of the sample

Unemployment, lower educational attainment, cocaine use disorders associated with failure to complete the program (controlling for age, gender, ethnicity and treatment modality) (Brown, 2010)

  • Cocaine use disorders theorized to be associated with high degree of impulsivity, which could impact ability to adhere to treatment
  • The sample used in this study was majority White (79%); African-Americans represented 17% of the sample
References: 

Brown, R.T. (2010). Associations with substance abuse treatment completion in drug court. Substance Use and Misuse, 45, 1874-1891. doi:  10.3109/10826081003682099

Marlowe D.B., Hardin, C.D, Fox, C.L.  (2016). Painting the current picture: A national report on drug courts and other problem-solving courts in the United States. Alexandria, VA: National Drug Court Institute. https://www.ndci.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Painting-the-Current-Picture-2016.pdf

Roll, J.M., Prendergast, M., Richardson, K., Burdon, W. & Ramirez, A. (2005). Identifying predictors of treatment outcome in a drug court program. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 31, 641-656. DOI: 10.1081/ADA-200068428