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Evaluation of therapeutic alternatives to imprisonment for drug-dependent offenders: findings of a comparative European multi-country study

McSweeney, Tim (2008) Evaluation of therapeutic alternatives to imprisonment for drug-dependent offenders: findings of a comparative European multi-country study. Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems 10 (2), pp. 5-10. ISSN 1592-1638.

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Official URL: http://www.europad.org/journal/2008/heroinadd_2008...

Abstract

A multi-country, multi-site comparative research study has documented the feasibility of recruiting drug-dependent individuals receiving treatment as an alternative to imprisonment (‘quasi-compulsory’ treatment, in the setting of an experimental group), while comparing them with those receiving treatment in the same therapeutic institutions, on a voluntary basis (control group). The study combined qualitative and quantitative methods in describing the evolution and outcome of each case after 6, 12 and 18 months in treatment. 845 probands were recruited from 9 sites in 5 countries (Austria, Germany, Italy, UK, Switzerland), 429 in the experimental and 416 in the comparison group. Data were collected using a standardized instrument set and following a joint protocol that allowed for the testing of a number of pre-established hypotheses. Significant reductions in drug use and delinquent behaviour, together with improvements in social integration and health, were found in both groups. Higher rates of perceived external pressure to stay in treatment in the experimental group did not affect motivation of these patients as regards improvement and retention in the study. It can be concluded that the availability of treatment alternatives to imprisonment for drug dependence are a valuable policy option, under various different conditions, but that this option is open to further improvement.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Law
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2012 15:48
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:26
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5708

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