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Demographic Differences in Substance Use Recovery Capital in Utah

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Ben Martinez

Additional Presenters:
Virginia Merrill (
Nearly 100,000 people died in the United States from drug-involved overdoses in 2020. Although the high costs of substance use disorders and the benefits of treatment services are well-documented, more research is needed on demographic disparities in utilization and outcomes of the treatment services, especially in Utah. Using data from a Utah-based addiction recovery organization, Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA), we investigate the potential race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and veteran status differences in substance-use recovery outcomes (N=788). USARA used the 10-Item Brief Assessment Recovery Capital (BARC-10) to assess individuals' substance use recovery capital each time they visited a recovery center. A sub-portion of the sample (N=270) visited USARA facilities more than once and thus had multiple BARC scores which enabled us to investigate the changes in recovery outcomes over time as well. Results indicated that racial minorities, females, heterosexuals, and veterans had higher average BARC scores compared to whites, males, sexual minorities, and non-veterans, respectively. However, the difference between the last and first BARC scores was higher for whites, males, non-heterosexuals, and non-veterans, indicating that, on average, these groups are recovering better from substance use disorders compared to their counterparts. Future researchers should look at the demographic differences as well as the barriers that may prevent an individual from seeking and maintaining recovery from addiction. More efforts need to be made to make sure that recovery is achievable, sustainable, and long-term for minority groups in Utah.
University / Institution: Utah Tech University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Muhammad Yildiz
Location: Alumni House, SORENSON ROOM (2:05pm)