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Subst Abus. 1999 Dec;20(4):249-261.

The Use of Required Treatment for Substance Abusers.

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Pepperdine University, Malibu, California 90265.


Studies show that typically less than 10% of alcohol and other drug abusers voluntarily enter treatment for their substance abuse, and once in treatment, drop out rates are high. One controversial way to get clients into, and to participate in, treatment is the use of legally encouraged or required treatment. Grounded in the parents patriae doctrine of state protection, the primary rationale for required treatment is that some substance abusers require external pressure to enter and remain in treatment. The history of required treatment for alcohol and other substance abuse, the primary issues surrounding its use, the use of required treatment in the criminal justice system, the primary treatment models for alcohol and other substance abuse, ways to increase internal and external motivation for treatment, and therapist and treatment personnel responsibilities in using required treatment are discussed.


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