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Do adverse experiences predict unemployment and need of psychiatric help after treatment for drug use disorders?

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Background: This study prospectively examined the association between adverse experiences (physical abuse, sexual abuse and parental substance use problems [SUPs]), not being employed, in education or training (NEET) and being in need of acute psychiatric help among patients receiving treatment for substance use disorders. Methods: A total of 580 adolescents and early adults aged 15–25 years enrolled in treatment for drug use disorders were included in the analyses. Treatment data were linked to participants’ register data on employment, education and acute contact to psychiatric services for the following two years. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine associations between the three adverse experiences, NEET and need of acute psychiatric help, adjusting for confounders such as age, gender, ethnicity, treatment response and treatment condition. Results: More than half of the participants were NEET two years after treatment enrolment. After controlling for demographics and treatment conditions, NEET was predicted by parental substance use problems (odds ratio [OR] = 1.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.31– 2.70), exposure to physical abuse (OR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.03–2.13) and non-abstinence (abstinence was negatively associated with NEET, OR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.37–0.76). Being exposed to two (OR = 3.17, 95% CI 1.93–5.21) and three types of adverse experiences (OR = 3.14, 95% CI = 1.47–6.70) predicted NEET more strongly than exposure to one type. One out of 10 participants sought acute care from psychiatric services at least once within two years after treatment. Only sex and ethnic minority status were associated with contacting psychiatric services acutely. Conclusion: The present study suggests that adverse experiences, such as being exposed to parental problematic substance use and physical abuse, may be important predictors for NEET after treatment for SUDs.

TidsskriftNordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Sider (fra-til)520-535
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023

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