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Coerced Drug Treatment

  • By: Roger H. Peters & M. Scott Young
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

There is a strong relationship between substance abuse and criminal behavior, and it is now understood that the rapid and prolonged expansion of the correctional system in the United States is largely due to the increasing numbers of drug-involved offenders. Approximately three-quarters of offenders have substance abuse problems, including 46 percent with drug dependence disorders and 37 percent with alcohol dependence disorders—rates that are significantly higher than in the general population. Rates of crime, arrest, and incarceration are also much higher among those with substance use disorders, and many crimes such as drug sales, property crime, and prostitution are directly linked with attempts to support a drug habit.

Coercion has been used successfully to leverage offenders and others into substance abuse treatment. The use of coercive ...

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