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Patterns of Substance Abuse Treatment Seeking Following Cocaine-Related Emergency Department Visits

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Abstract

Chest pain is the most common medical complaint among cocaine-using emergency department (ED) patients. Correlates of substance abuse treatment seeking were examined using 3-month post-discharge surveys from 170 ED patients admitted with cocaine-related chest pain. Four treatment categories were specified as the dependent variable in an ordered logistic regression: no treatment (74.7%), informal treatment only (7.1%), formal treatment only (5.9%), and both formal and informal treatment (12.4%). The following variables were found to be positively associated with a higher treatment category: frequency of cocaine use (OR = 1.07, CI95 = 1.01–1.15, p = 0.03), global severity index (OR = 2.26, CI95 = 1.04–4.90, p = 0.04), number of endorsed stigma barriers (OR = 4.40, CI95 = 1.41–13.78, p = 0.01), interpersonal consequences (OR = 1.41, CI95 = 1.01–1.88, p = 0.02), and pre-baseline informal treatment (OR = 6.69, CI95 = 1.58–28.36, p = 0.01). Physical consequences were found to be negatively associated with a higher treatment category (OR = 0.63, CI95 = 0.47–0.85, p < 0.01). ED visits for cocaine-related chest pain represent missed opportunities to link patients to substance abuse treatment, and interventions are needed to motivate patients to seek care.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of staff and patients at Hurley Medical Center for their support which made this research possible.

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Correspondence to John C. Fortney PhD.

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Supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse R01 DA14343 to Dr. Booth.

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Fortney, J.C., Tripathi, S.P., Walton, M.A. et al. Patterns of Substance Abuse Treatment Seeking Following Cocaine-Related Emergency Department Visits. J Behav Health Serv Res 38, 221–233 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-010-9224-9

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