Factors associated with the achievement of abstinence were examined among 343 opiate addicted older adults (average age 56.5 years old) who were participants in longitudinal studies conducted by Anglin and colleagues. Participants' responses to survey questions on factors such as physical health status, mental health status, gender, social support, and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) involvement were investigated to examine their association with achievement of short-term abstinence (defined as no illicit substance use within the past 30 days) and long-term abstinence (defined as no illicit substance use within the past year). Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the nature and strength of the relationship of these predictor variables and abstinence. It was predicted that individuals with less reported physical health issues will be more likely to be abstinent, while individuals with more reported mental health issues will be less likely to be abstinent. Further, men would be less likely to be abstinent than women; while individuals with higher reported AA involvement will more likely to be abstinent. It was found that the current sample, when compared to same age and gendered peers, was overall sicker that national outpatient psychiatric norms. The results also found that higher mental health status was able to significantly predict both higher short and long-term abstinence. It was also found that higher AA involvement was associated with higher abstinence in both the short and long term.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Psychology; Drug addiction -- Treatment; Older people -- Drug use

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Rowe, Daryl M.;