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Significant gaps exist in health care regarding gender in the United States. Health status, social roles, culturally patterned behavior and access to health care can be influenced by gender. Women have been the primary users of health care and minority women usually have received poorer quality care than Non-Hispanic White (NHW) females. The objectives of this study were to identify gender, racial and ethnic disparities in access to substance abuse treatment in a Texas hospital. Secondary data collected on 1,309 subjects who underwent detoxification were studied. Gender, race/ethnicity, drug of abuse, relapse and financial classification were included in the analysis. Results indicate Hispanic females and Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) females were about 5 and 3.5 more likely than NHW females to use Medicaid services respectively (p < .05). NHW and NHB males were more likely to use Medicare than females (p < .05). NHB and Hispanic females were 5.8 and 2.1 times more likely to receive care for abuse of cocaine when compared to NHW females respectively (p < .05). Hispanic females were 2.3 times more likely to relapse than Non-Hispanic females, and uninsured NHB females were 7.1 times at a higher risk to abuse multiple drugs compare to NHW females (p < .05). Socio-economic factors, lower labor force participation rates, and less financial independence can explain females utilizing more often Medicaid regardless of their race/ethnicity. These results can be also explained by aggressive case management utilization, socio cultural barriers and/or discriminatory practices, both intentional and unintentional.


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Coustasse, A., Singh, K. P., Lurie, S. G., Lin, Y., Coggin, C. S., & Trevino, F. (2008). Gender disparities: A medical detoxification program. Journal of Hospital Marketing & Public Relations, 18(1), 21-37, as published in the JOURNAL OF HOSPITAL MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS, 2008, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: