TANF receipt may facilitate treatment entry among women with substance use disorders.
Pollack and Reuter (2006) analyzed patterns among mothers aged 18 - 49 from the 2002 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The analysis showed that TANF recipients who satisfied abuse or dependence criteria were more likely to have been in substance abuse treatment compared with others (non-TANF) who satisfied substance abuse or dependence criteria. TANF receiving mothers who needed substance abuse treatment had almost three times the adjusted odds of receiving such services as those who also needed services but did not receive TANF aid.
Such patterns pose a new challenge for policymakers: TANF is a traditional conduit to identify and to serve low-income mothers with substance use disorders. Post-reform, TANF assistance reaches approximately one-third of these individuals. These patterns necessitate the development of alternative strategies outside of TANF to identify and to serve these women.