Date of Conferral





Public Health


James E. Rohrer


Abuse of painkiller drugs and non-medical use of drugs among young adults continues to be a public health crisis in the United States. Living arrangements and source of treatment referral were considered as the social context that could contribute to increased admissions to treatment for drug abuse. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between, independent living arrangement, the principal source of referral, and abuse of opioid, heroin, and cocaine. Steered by the conceptual framework of the biopsychosocial model, this study used the data from the 2015 Treatment Episode Data Set: Admissions managed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to test the hypotheses regarding a predictive relationship between independent living arrangement, the principal source of treatment referral, and admissions to treatment for abuse of opioid, heroin, and cocaine. The results showed a significant association between the source of treatment referrals and independent living arrangement, and the increased odds of admissions for prescription opioids use disorder, heroin use disorder, and cocaine use disorder among adults aged 18-34 living in the United States. The implication for positive social change included a need for a targeted treatment and other intervention programs for young adults' users with associated higher-risk treatment referral categories and exposed to neighborhoods factors and health-risk behaviors in reducing the crisis of drug abuse in the United States.