Impact of criminal justice system coercion on drug abuse treatment
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Impact of Criminal Justice System Coercion on Drug Abuse Treatment PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Impact of Criminal Justice System Coercion on Drug Abuse Treatment. David Duncan 1 , John B. White 2 , Thomas Nicholson 2. 1 Duncan & Associates 2 Western Kentucky University. Former NIDA Director Robert Dupont.

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Impact of Criminal Justice System Coercion on Drug Abuse Treatment

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Impact of Criminal Justice System Coercion on Drug Abuse Treatment

David Duncan1, John B. White2, Thomas Nicholson2

1 Duncan & Associates

2 Western Kentucky University

Former NIDA Director Robert Dupont

  • Reducing penalties for drug possession and sales reduces the pressure on addicts to stop using drugs. As such it is an enabling step . . . What is needed is not a lesser or eliminated penalties, but strategies to make the penalties for possession and sale of illicit drugs more effective and less costly to society.


  • Removing penalties for drug sale and possession is surrendering to the illicit drug epidemic.

  • (Dupont, 1997, p. 438)

Sher Horosko (1997)

  • Most of us here believe that substance abuse is a disease. But how many of us also believe that criminal sanctions — proven to be the number one catalyst for getting people into treatment — are the only or the best incentive to human healing we can provide.


  • There is a belief in our field that the threat of punishment and the attendant loss of freedom, family, and friends is acceptable, even laudable, to force a person into his or her own recovery . . . The elders in our field have come to accept this coercive catalyst as necessary.

Effects of Coercion:

  • Does such coercion bring a large proportion of patients into treatment

  • Are coerced patients different from those who enter treatment without legal coercion?


  • Does coercion bring a larger proportion of heroin and other more “hard core” abusers into treatment?

  • Does coercion bring patients into treatment at an earlier stage in their history of abuse?

Treatment Episode Data System

  • Is a continuation of the former Client Data System (CDS) that was originally developed by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • The TEDS data collection effort began in 1989 with three-year development grants to states.

  • Treatment providers that receive any state agency funding are expected to provide TEDS data for all clients admitted to treatment, regardless of the source of funding for individual clients.


Description of Sample

  • 20.5 million

  • 1992-2003

  • Concatenated dataset

  • Covers all 50 States and Puerto Rico

Patients by Referral

Prior Admissions

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