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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2004 Jan;26(1):337-43.

The relationship of legal coercion to readiness to change among adults with alcohol and other drug problems.

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College of Social Work, Ohio State University, 1947 College Road, Columbus, OH, USA.


Prior research on legally coerced treatment for substance abuse tends to find no difference between coerced and non-coerced clients with respect to treatment retention and treatment outcomes. There is less known about the relationship between coercion and a client's motivation to change. We considered the relationship of legal coercion and readiness to change among 295 consecutive admissions to five publicly funded outpatient treatment programs. A logistic regression analysis indicated that legal coercion was associated with greater readiness to change after controlling for addiction severity, prior treatment history, and gender. Persons entering treatment due to legal coercion were over three times more likely to have engaged in recovery-oriented behavior in the month preceding admission. Entering treatment more prepared to benefit from the experience could contribute to outcomes that are more positive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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