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Rural and Urban Cocaine Users’ Discussions about Drug Use with Medical Care Providers

Borders TF, Booth BM, Curran GM, Cheney AM. Rural and Urban Cocaine Users’ Discussions about Drug Use with Medical Care Providers. Poster session presented at: Addiction Health Services Research Conference; 2012 Oct 18; New York, NY.




Abstract:

Medical care providers have the potential to directly treat or refer patients using illicit drugs to substance abuse services, assuming that patients are comfortable talking about their drug use. Using data from 400 (200 rural, 200 urban) African American cocaine users, we examined how rural/urban residence and other factors are associated with a) comfort talking with medical doctors about drug use and b) whether the participant's doctor knew about his/her drug use. Contrary to our hypotheses, 53% of rural and 39% of urban users were comfortable talking about drug use with a doctor; 35% of rural and 27% of urban users reported that their doctor knew they used drugs. Rural/urban differences remained when adjusting for other factors. These findings suggest that medical care providers, especially in rural areas where formal substance abuse services are often scarce, could serve a useful role in improving access to drug abuse treatment.





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