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The Effectiveness of Compulsory Drug Treatment: A Systematic Review

Mar 4, 2016

An article has been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy titled "The effectiveness of compulsory drug treatment: A systematic review".  In this review, the authors identified 430 potential studies, with nine quantitative studies meeting inclusion criteria.  The compulsory treatment services included a range of modalities including short and long term inpatient treatment, community based treatment, group based treatment and prison based treatment.  Three studies found no significant impacts from compulsory treatment, two studies found ambiguous results, two further studies found negative impacts on criminal recidivism, and the final two studies found positive impacts on drug use and criminal recidivism.  The authors conclude that: "The evidence does not, on the whole, suggest improved outcomes related to compulsory treatment approaches, with some studies suggestion potential harms.  Given the potential for human rights abuses within compulsory treatment settings, non-compulsory treatment modalities should be prioritized by policy makers seeking to reduce drug-related harms."

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