Factors associated with ongoing criminal engagement while in opioid maintenance treatment
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionStavseth, M.R. et al. (2017) Factors associated with ongoing criminal engagement while in opioid maintenance treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 77, pp. 52-56. 10.1016/j.jsat.2017.03.010
Introduction: This study examines factors associated with criminal engagement among patients in opioid maintenance treatment (OMT). Methods: Questionnaire data recorded annually among 5 654 patients in the Norwegian OMT programme between 2005 and 2010 from seven regional treatment centres were available for analyses. Each patient answered approximately 4 times (mean: 4.11, SD: 1.46) generating a total of 18 538 questionnaires. The outcome variable of the study, engagement in criminal activity, was defined as whether a patient had been arrested, put in custody, been charged and/or convicted of a crime within the last 12 months prior to the completion of the questionnaire. Three types of covariates were included: demographical, psychosocial and drug use-related. Missing data were imputed using Multivariate Imputation by Chained Equations and regression parameters were estimated by Generalized Estimation Equations to account for correlated measurements. Results: Having a full-time job (aOR: 0.47, CI: 0.34-0.64) or being a student/having a part-time job (aOR: 0.72, CI: 0.59-0.88) was negatively associated with ongoing criminal involvement, as did having a stable living situation (aOR: 0.70, CI: 0.57-0.87). On the other hand, being male (aOR: 1.83, CI: 1.59-2.10), younger (aOR: 0.96, CI: 0.95-0.97) and using illicit drugs regularly (aOR: 3.00, CI: 2.56-3.52) was positively associated with ongoing criminal activity while in OMT. Conclusions: Stable accommodation and participation in meaningful daily activity was found to be protective in terms of ongoing criminal engagement. Focus on these modifiable, psychosocial factors should therefore be an important and integral aspect of opioid maintenance treatment.