• Crack;
  • drug court;
  • major depression;
  • women


Aims  We examined whether a current major depressive episode (MDE) at baseline predicted crack use and arrests at follow-up among women enrolled in drug court.

Design  Primary analyses used zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) and zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) regression analyses to predict both yes/no and number of (i) days of crack use and (ii) arrests at 4-month follow-up from current (30-day) MDE at baseline. Secondary analyses addressed risk conferred by current versus past MDE at baseline.

Setting/Participants  Participants were 261 women in drug court.

Measurements  MDE was assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. Days using crack and number of arrests were assessed using the Washington University Risk Behavior Assessment for Women.

Findings  Having a current MDE at baseline predicted likelihood of crack use at follow-up, but not days of crack use among those who used. Current MDE at baseline did not predict presence or number of arrests at the 4-month follow-up. Women with current MDE at baseline were more likely to be using crack at follow-up than were those with recent (31+ days to 12 months) but not current MDE (odds ratio = 5.71); past MDE at baseline did not increase risk of crack use.

Conclusions  Predictors of any versus no crack use or arrests appear to differ from predictors of frequency of these behaviors. Current major depression, but not past major depression, appears to be associated with increased risk of crack use among women attending drug court.