"African American Women Addicted to Crack Cocaine: Treatment Experiences and Outcomes Presentation Outline"

Janet Okagbue-Reaves

Eastern Michigan University



African American Women Addicted to Crack Cocaine:

Treatment Experiences and Outcomes

Presentation Outline


Drug addiction is a persistent and compelling problem for our society.  Costs include increased crime, lost of productivity and the decimation of families

My research focused on African American women addicted to crack cocaine.  These women are presently understudied in social science research.

My research question was whether type of treatment program length of stay and services received impact recovery efforts for African American women addicted to crack cocaine

I studied African American women for several reasons.

1.                   They are disproportionately over represented in the prison system and are largely incarcerated for drug related offenses

2.                   They are disproportionately poor and at risk for being charged with pre natal crimes through being served by public service programs.

I looked at crack cocaine because

            14% of all adult female admissions for drug abuse treatment were for crack

            58% of those admissions were black women

and the literature review revealed an absence of studies focused specifically on African American women addicted to crack cocaine.

The literature did identify a need for the development of theory and instrumentation to more thoroughly study the life experiences of women and how to best help them in their treatment and recovery efforts.


I conducted a secondary data analysis using the National treatment improvement evaluation study or NTIES.

My study sub sample consisted of 641 African American women between the ages of 17 and 25.

My hypothesis was that there would be an association between type of treatment program, length of stay, and services received and the women’s ability to stay clean 1-year post treatment discharge.

My dependent variable was defined as abstinence from all drugs and was a dichotomous variable.

Abstinence was determined through self-reports and follow up drug tests.

My independent variables were

Type of treatment program

Length of stay

And services offered

The demographics of my population were impressive.

Less than 50% had a high school education

There were high rates of mental health issues, Arrests and crime

First I looked at type of treatment program and the impact on drug use.

According to the Nagelkerke statistic only 4% of non-drug use is attributed to type of treatment program

Next I looked at length of stay.  

The Nagelkerke statistic indicated that 18% of a woman’s ability to not use drugs can be attributed to the length of stay in treatment. 

Next I assessed the significance of services received while in treatment

And according to interpretation of the classification table this model accurately predicted non-drug use 94% of the time

Finally,  I analyzed the effect of all of my independent variables combined on my dependent variable using the backward step wise method which keeps all of the variables in the model in step one then each subsequent step it removes the variable or variables which are not significant or have the least significant effect on the dependent variable.

I proved my hypothesis; there is an association between type of treatment program, length of stay and services received.  



Assessed the effect of one treatment episode only

No data over time on client characteristics

Quasi-Experimental design

Future Directions

Development of research methods

Services matched to clients needs

Increased collaboration with programs that provide the services women need while in treatment

Emphasize mezzo and macro interventions for students preparing for work in this field