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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2000 Aug;26(3):461-80.

Modified therapeutic community for homeless mentally ill chemical abusers: treatment outcomes.

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  • 1Center for Therapeutic Community Research, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., New York, New York 10048, USA.


This study compared homeless mentally ill chemical abuser (MICA) clients (n = 342), male and female, sequentially assigned to either of two modified therapeutic community programs (TC1 and TC2) and to a treatment-as-usual (TAU) control group. Follow-up interviews were obtained at 12 months postbaseline and at time F (on average more than 2 years postbaseline) on a retrieved sample of 232 (68%) clients and 281 (82%) clients, respectively. Outcome measures assessed five domains: drug use, crime, HIV risk behavior, psychological symptoms, and employment. Individuals in both modified TC groups showed significantly greater behavioral improvement than TAU at 12 months and time F, and the modified TC2, with lower demands and more staff guidance, was superior to modified TC1. Completers of both TC programs showed significantly greater improvement than dropouts and a subgroup of TAU clients with high exposure (i.e., more than 8 months) to other treatment protocols. The present findings support the effectiveness and longer term stability of effects of a modified TC program for treating homeless MICA clients.

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