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Criminogenic Needs, Substance Use, and Offending among Rural Stimulant Users.

Timko C, Booth BM, Han X, Schultz NR, Blonigen DM, Wong JJ, Cucciare MA. Criminogenic Needs, Substance Use, and Offending among Rural Stimulant Users. Rural mental health. 2017 Apr 1; 41(2):110-122.

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There is a need to understand the determinants of both substance use and criminal activity in rural areas in order to design appropriate treatment interventions for these linked problems. The present study drew on a predominant model used to assess and treat offenders -- the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model -- to examine risk factors for substance use and criminal activity in a rural drug using sample. This study extends the RNR model''s focus on offenders to assessing rural-dwelling individuals using stimulants (N = 462). We examined substance use and criminal justice outcomes at 6-month (91%) and 3-year (79%) follow-ups, and used Generalized Estimating Equations to examine the extent to which RNR criminogenic need factors at baseline predicted outcomes at follow-ups. Substance use and criminal justice outcomes improved at six months, and even more at three years, post-baseline. As expected, higher risk was associated with poorer outcomes. Antisocial personality patterns and procriminal attitudes at baseline predicted poorer legal and drug outcomes measured at subsequent follow-ups. In contrast, less connection to antisocial others and fewer work difficulties predicted lower alcohol problem severity, but more frequent alcohol use. Engagement in social-recreational activities was associated with fewer subsequent arrests and less severe alcohol and drug problems. The RNR model''s criminogenic need factors predicted drug use and crime-related outcomes among rural residents. Services adapted to rural settings that target these factors, such as telehealth and other technology-based resources, may hasten improvement on both types of outcomes among drug users.

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