This is a study of individuals entering treatment who had been arrested for DUI in the past year or who entered treatment while on probation for DUI to determine their levels of impairment and the factors that predict treatment completion and abstinence at follow-up.
Secondary data analysis was performed on an administrative dataset of 29,566 adult Texans who entered publicly funded substance abuse treatment between 2000 and 2005. Multivariate logistic regressions predicted multiple past-year arrests, treatment completion, and abstinence at follow-up.
Being older, homeless, having more problems with peer or social relationships, using daily, and having more public intoxication arrests predicted entering treatment with more than 1 DUI arrest in the past year. Individuals with multiple arrests in the past year were more impaired and the least likely to complete treatment or be abstinent in their last month of treatment. The strongest predictor of completing treatment was having been treated in a residential environment (odds ration [OR], 3.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.44–4.6; P < 0.0001), the strongest predictor of past-month abstinence at follow-up was completing treatment (OR, 2.18. 95% CI, 1.83–2.59; P < 0.0001), and the strongest risk factor was living in a situation in which the individual was exposed to alcohol abuse or drug use (OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.1–0.17; P < 0.0001).
This study provides evidence of the extent of abuse and dependence among DUI arrestees and their need for treatment not only for their substance abuse problems but also for other problems, including co-occurring mental health problems. Closer supervision by probation during follow-up could reinforce abstinence and prevent recidivism.