Perspectives of Treatment Consumers, Treatment Providers, and Law Enforcement on Drug Treatment and Prevention


  • Shauna P. Acquavita School of Social Work, University of Cincinnati; Center for Addiction Research, University of Cincinnati
  • Linnea Lowe School of Social Work, University of Cincinnati
  • Kayleigh Fiser Department of Health Promotions, University of Cincinnati
  • R. Thomas Sherba Office of Quality, Planning and Research, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services



Substance use disorders, Law enforcement, Treatment providers, Focus groups


Background: While much of the literature has focused on examining barriers to substance use disorders (SUD) treatment with individuals with SUD, there is a dearth of research from the perspective of treatment providers and law enforcement, 2 groups who witness the challenges for addressing SUD.

Methods: Using content analysis, this qualitative study explored the perspectives of individuals with SUD, treatment providers, and law enforcement on recommendations about SUD treatment and prevention. Data from 12 focus groups with individuals with SUD were analyzed and triangulated with interviews from treatment providers and law enforcement. Cross case analysis was utilized to identify common categories.

Results: The categories identified included education, judicial system, psychosocial barriers, resources, stigma, stages of change, and treatment. Results indicated all groups had similar ideas on how to address SUD. Participants provided recommendations in each category for addressing SUD.

Conclusion: Individuals with SUD, treatment providers, and law enforcement officers are affected by complex issues of SUD on micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Public health professionals can help to facilitate changes by advocating for prevention and intervention methods to be implemented to address SUD.


Additional Files





Research Articles