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Subst Use Misuse. 2002;37(12-13):1635-64.

The challenges of conducting research in drug treatment court settings.

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The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA.


National and local interest in drug treatment courts has grown substantially since the first program was established in Miami (FL) in 1989. Through May 2001, there were 688 operational drug treatment courts and 432 in various stages of planning. The U.S. Department of Justice provides about $50 million annually to fund the planning and implementation of drug treatment courts. Despite this support and widespread popularity, there has been relatively little rigorous empirical research on the operations, impacts, and economic impacts of drug treatment courts. This article explores the development of drug treatment court research over the past ten years, the current state of research on drug treatment courts, and the organizational and scientific challenges to conducting research in these settings. Recommendations are presented for improving the scope and rigor of drug treatment court research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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