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Voluntary Participation and Treatment Resistance in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 34 Issue: 3 Dated: 2002 Pages: 31-45
Robert A. Shearer; Guy D. Ogan
Date Published
15 pages
This study addressed treatment resistance and voluntary participation in substance abuse treatment programs.
This study attempted to determine the effect of voluntary or forced participation on treatment resistance among three groups of offenders in substance abuse treatment programs. Treatment resistance was significantly lower for offenders who perceived they had volunteered for treatment. The study claims that participants' belief that they are in treatment voluntarily can reduce treatment resistance by as much as 20 percent. There were significant differences between treatment groups from three different prisons on all areas of resistance except cultural issues. Resistance was significantly lower for offenders in treatment as a condition of probation than longer term offenders in prison programs. Results lend support to the effectiveness of therapeutic communities in reducing resistance by creating a more pro-treatment environment. The study recommends that substance abuse treatment be focused on programs operating as part of community supervision in order to make the best use of resources in the field of correctional treatment for substance abuse. Tables, references