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Service use and barriers to care among heroin users: results from a national survey.

Mowbray O, Perron BE, Bohnert AS, Krentzman AR, Vaughn MG. Service use and barriers to care among heroin users: results from a national survey. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse. 2010 Nov 1; 36(6):305-10.

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Fifty-nine percent of heroin users reported receiving at least one treatment service. The most common services used were 12-step programs, detoxification, and rehabilitation. Approximately 44% reported at least one barrier to treatment. The most common were lack of motivation and beliefs that it could be managed alone. In a multivariate logistic regression, having a heroin use disorder was associated with a greater likelihood of receiving services (OR = 6.09) and experiencing a barrier (OR = 11.11) compared to those without a disorder. CONCLUSIONS AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: High rates of service use and barriers were observed for all levels of heroin involvement. These findings underscore the importance of improving access to services for this group, even when full criteria for a drug disorder is not met. Integration of motivational approaches is also needed within the most common services used. To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe patterns and correlates of service use using a nationally representative community sample of heroin users.

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