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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201739 Find in a Library
Title: Substance Abuse Treatment and Pressures From the Criminal Justice System: Data From a Provincial Client Monitoring System
Journal: Addiction  Volume:98  Issue:8  Dated:August 2003  Pages:1119-1128
Author(s): Brian R. Rush; T. Cameron Wild
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the extent to which social control strategies exercised through the criminal justice system are used to bring people into substance abuse treatment.
Abstract: A secondary analysis was employed of data from a client-based information system that captured demographic, referral, and substance use characteristics from people seeking treatment for substance abuse. The participants entered specialized Ontario addiction treatment programs between April 1, 1999, and March 31, 2000. Results show that almost one-third (28.9 percent) of clients present to treatment with legal problems, and almost 14 percent were reported as having specific corrections-related conditions of contact. Cross-tabulation with various demographic and drug use data indicated a general pattern across the problem substance categories of an association between legal problems at treatment entry and being male, of younger age, single, non-completion of high school, and unemployed. The results showed that the primary entry point in the Ontario system of substance abuse services for people with legal problems, or corrections versus other conditions of contact, is the non-residential treatment sector (outpatient and day programs). The results of the regression analyses conducted separately for each of the three broad classes of presenting substances (alcohol, other drugs, alcohol and other drugs) show almost the same pattern. But it was found that having no fixed address and being unemployed were particularly important predictors of criminal justice involvement for those clients with drug problems. Entry into the treatment system via the criminal justice system provides an opportunity to screen and identify an important high-risk population in need of treatment and that may not seek treatment on their own until they are older and their problems are substantially more severe. Successful treatment of this population may reap considerable social benefit through reduced social costs due to substance-related criminal behavior, unemployment, and health problems. 4 tables, 19 references
Main Term(s): Drug treatment; Involuntary treatment
Index Term(s): Drug dependence; Drug detoxification; Drug treatment programs; Inmate drug treatment; Medicolegal considerations; Ontario; Treatment
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