Trend Analysis of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions in New Orleans From 2000–2012: A Population-Based Comparison Pre- and Post-Hurricane Katrina

Monique N. Shuler, Sherrie F. Wallington, Raquel Y. Qualls-Hampton, Arwen E. Podesta, Sumihiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Substance abuse treatment following a natural disaster is often met with challenges. If treatment is available, facilities may be unequipped to service an influx of patients or provide specialized care for unique populations. Objectives: This paper seeks to evaluate trends in substance abuse treatment over time and assess changes pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina. Methods: Substance abuse treatment admission data (N = 42,678) from New Orleans, Louisiana, for years 2000 through 2012 were obtained from the Treatment Episode Data Set. Admissions were examined to evaluate demographic, socioeconomic, psychiatric, and criminality trends in substance abuse treatment and assess changes following Hurricane Katrina. Results: Treatment admissions have decreased from 2000 to 2012. About one in five admissions had a psychiatric illness in addition to a substance abuse problem. A staggering 76% of admissions with a psychiatric illness were referred by the criminal justice system post-Katrina as compared to pre-Katrina. Rates of alcohol and marijuana admissions have remained stable from 2000 to 2012. Cocaine/crack admissions have declined and admissions who abused heroin have increased over time. Conclusions: Treatment admissions stabilized following Hurricane Katrina; however, since 2009, they have begun to decline. Targeted exploration of factors affecting admission to treatment in New Orleans with populations such as the homeless, those with a psychiatric illness in addition to a substance abuse problem, and those referred by the criminal justice system is essential. The results of this study assist in identifying variations in substance abuse treatment characteristics for those admitted to treatment in New Orleans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1542-1554
Number of pages13
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume51
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • New Orleans
  • TEDS
  • Treatment Episode Data Set
  • hurricane Katrina
  • substance abuse
  • treatment
  • trend analysis

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