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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 203304 Find in a Library
Title: Standardized Assessment of Substance-Related, Other Psychiatric, and Comorbid Disorders Among Probationers
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:6  Dated:December 2003  Pages:630-652
Author(s): Arthur J. Lurigio; Young Ik Cho; James A. Swartz; Timothy P. Johnson; Ingrid Graf; Lillian Pickup
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 23
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the prevalence of alcohol-related and substance-related disorders in a random sample of 627 adult probationers in Illinois; it also investigated the prevalence of major psychiatric disorders and their co-occurrences with alcohol and substance-use disorders.
Abstract: The study stratified the sample by region (Cook County compared with all other counties) to ensure an adequate statewide representation of adult probationers in Illinois. Researchers estimated the prevalence of alcohol use, drug use, and treatment needs based on the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse and dependence disorders found in the DSM-III-R. To estimate the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, the study used the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview 2.2, a brief psychiatric structured interview that elicits the symptoms specified in DSM diagnostic criteria. Overall, more than 98 percent of the probationers reported lifetime alcohol use, compared with 93 percent of the general population in Illinois. More than 88 percent of the participants reported using at least one illicit drug (i.e., marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine, or heroin) in their lifetimes. Almost 80 percent of the probationers reported that they had used alcohol in the past 18 months, and more than half reported that they had used alcohol in the past 30 days preceding the interviews. More than 25 percent of the probationers reported using at least one illicit drug in the past month, and 50 percent reported using an illicit drug in the past year. Generally, probationers were more than seven times more likely than members of the general population to use an illicit drug during the past month or year. The most commonly used drugs were marijuana and cocaine. Approximately 43 percent of the probationers were diagnosed as needing alcohol or drug treatment in the past 12 months. Among the various diagnoses of drug dependence, all but one, dependence on opiates, were significantly related to having a psychiatric diagnosis. The strongest relationship was for alcohol dependence; the dependency rate was nearly twice as high (39 percent) among those who had a psychiatric disorder, compared with those who had no psychiatric disorder (21 percent). Based on these findings, the authors urge probation administrators to invest more resources in treating drug use, mental illness, and co-disorders; the latter is particularly significant, because it is associated with a higher risk for violent behaviors. 8 tables and 41 references
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Illinois; Mental disorders; Mentally ill offenders; Probationers
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