Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Pullen, A., & Oser, C. (2014). Barriers to substance abuse treatment in rural and urban communities: A counselor perspective. Subst Use Misuse, 49 (7), 891-901.
Title:  Barriers to substance abuse treatment in rural and urban communities: A counselor perspective
Authors:  Pullen, A., & Oser, C.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Subst Use Misuse
Publisher:  National Institutes of Health
Research summary:
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Substance abuse has become a major public health concern in rural and urban areas. Some treatment facilities may benefit from having a wider variety of resources that is necessary for client success, while others have limited options to offer patients who are entering treatment. The inequality between needed and available services can put those on the front line specifically substance abuse counselors. These counselors are put in a difficult state to identify barriers to treatment in their communities.
Purpose:  Examines barriers to supply successful treatment while comparing the rural and urban counselors and giving insight from their experience working in diverse environments and under different circumstances
Setting:  Rural and Urban communities
Study sample:  In 2008 data was collected from 28 substance abuse counselors in four focus group sessions. These sessions included working in rural and urban substance abuse treatment facilities.
Data collection and analysis:  The focus groups reporting these results developed four major themes regarding counselor’s perceptions of barriers to effective substance abuse treatment. Bridging both rural and urban communities, counselors identified inadequate funding, client transportation difficulties, bureaucratic challenges, and a lack of interagency collaboration effecting treatment of clients
Findings:  Overall, there was a basic lack of substance abuse treatment services in rural areas. However, both urban and rural counselors experience the strain of the four major barriers but in unique ways.
Conclusions:  The data from this study indicates that communal and cultural characteristics make treatment challenging in rural areas.

Disabilities served:  Alcohol and drug abuse
Populations served:  Persons with multiple disabilities (e.g., deaf-blindness, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse)