Limitations Of Civil Commitment

Civil commitment helps get drug abusers into treatment and keeps the abusers in treatment for an extended length of time. Outcome studies have generally shown that the success of treatment is directly related to the amount of time spent in treatment and that long-term supervision upon return to the community, with objective monitoring (DRUG Testing), is an essential component of a successful program. Furthermore, civil commitment often makes treatment available before a crime is committed, and it provides clear treatment goals rather than only providing punishment (Leukefeld & Tims, 1988). Still, such a program as civil commitment has serious limitations. It is costly and can overwhelm facilities unless adequate funding, facilities, and staff have been made available. Many addicts are considered unwilling or unsuitable for participation. External coercion can bring drug users into treatment, but it cannot assure that as patients they will participate in treatment. Even with the advent of intensive interventions designed to engage the patients, some patients simply participate passively (Maddux, 1988). Finally, the scope of civil commitment is restricted by constitutional guarantees of individual liberty. The question remains: Within a free society, to what extent should the government curtail the civil liberties of a compulsive drug user?

Today, there is an increasing tendency to see civil commitment as control rather than treatment and it serves only a limited number of addicts who are sufficiently problematic in their behavior to warrant commitment. The use of such measures as civil commitment in a better coordinated and expanded fashion, however, could produce significant individual and social benefits (Anglin, 1988). Civil commitment may also gain more popular support as a means for dealing with intravenous drug users who are at risk for contracting or transmitting

AIDS.

(SEE ALSO: Coerced Treatment for Substance Offenders; Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime [TASC])

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anglin, D. (1988). The efficacy of civil commitment in treating narcotic addiction. Compulsory treatment of drug abuse: Research and clinical practice (NIDA Research Monograph 86). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. INCIARDI, J. A. (1988). Compulsory treatment in New York: A brief narrative history of misjudgment, mismanagement, and misrepresentation. The Journal of Drug Issues, 18 (4), 547-560. Leukefeld, C. G., & Tims, F. M. (1988). An introduction to compulsory treatment for drug abuse: Clinical practice and research. Compulsory treatment of drug abuse: Research and clinical practice (NIDA Research Monograph 86). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. LEUKEFELD, C. G., & Tims, F. M. (1988). Compulsory treatment: A review of findings. Compulsory treatment of drug abuse: Research and clinical practice (NIDA Research Monograph 86). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Maddux, J. F. (1988). Clinical experience with civil commitment. Compulsory treatment of drug abuse: Research and clinical practice (NIDA Research Monograph 86). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. McGlothlin, W. H., Anglin, M. D., & Wilson, B. D. (1977). An evaluation of the California Civil Addict Program (Services Research Monograph Series). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

HARRY K. Wexler

CLINICAL TRIALS NETWORK In an effort to find the most effective treatments for drug addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has established a clinical trials research network to test new pharmacological and behav ioral treatments in diverse patient populations. Clinical trials have been used for diseases such as cancer and AIDS as a fast, effective, and safe way to test new treatments. Also, as with other diseases, there are a number of effective treatments for addiction. However, the efficacy of these new treatments has been demonstrated primarily in specialized treatment research settings, with somewhat restricted patient populations. As a consequence, few of these new drug-abuse treatments are being applied on a wide-scale basis in real-life practice settings

In response, NIDA has established the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). The CTN is based on a model used successfully by other NIH institutes, including the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The CTN provides a research infrastructure to test whether new and improved treatment components are effective in real-life settings with diverse patient populations.

An Addict's Guide To Freedom

An Addict's Guide To Freedom

Get All The Support And Guidance You Need To Be A Success At Understanding And Getting Rid Of Addictions. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To New Ways To Understand Addicts And Get Rid Of Addictions.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment