Toward an Alcohol Treatment Entry Model: A Comparison of Problem Drinkers in the General Population and in Treatment


  • This study was supported by a National Alcohol Research Center Grant (AA-05595) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the Alcohol Research Group, Medical Research Institute of San Francisco.

Reprint requests: Constance Weisner, DrPH, Alcohol Research Group, 2000 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709.


Building on a model used in the health services literature, this article examines differences among problem drinkers in treatment and in the general population to understand treatment utilization further. Discriminant function analysis showed significant differences between treated and untreated groups for men and women. For women, lifetime general treatment history, ethnicity, and employment were major contributors to the model; for men, the most important variables were social consequences, treatment history, and employment. For women, only the domain of individual predisposing variables provided a unique contribution to the model (p < 0.01). For men, the individual predisposing (p < 0.001), need (p < 0.001), and enabling (p < 0.01) domains did so. Findings indicate important differences in the factors that influence treatment entry for women and men.