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Therapeutic Communities for Treatment of Substance Abuse

Therapeutic communities use interpersonal interactions within a structured community milieu to treat substance abuse. They have shown promising outcomes, especially among people with substance use disorders who require a highly structured environment to succeed. Therapeutic communities are used frequently in correctional institutions to treat inmates with severe substance use disorders and who exhibit antisocial behavior. Positive outcomes have been found for many participants, such as reduced substance use and recidivism after release from incarceration. Since therapeutic communities focus on communal processes to facilitate change, this treatment may not be an effective means to individualize care. In addition, the communities may not be helpful for autonomous, high-functioning individuals or people with severe co-occurring psychiatric disorders. However, these communities have functioned well in correctional settings and ...

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