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What difference could ‘court-ordered sobriety’ make to people committing alcohol-related offences? Two-year study in London boroughs gives a sense of what to expect before a national rollout of the programme in 2020.
HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Don’t treat, just test and sanction
One of our hot topics offering background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Gaining influential support is the proposition that for problem substance users over whom leverage can be exerted, we can largely do away with treatment and just test for substance use and punish infringements. Is this really the way forward?
STUDY 2010 HTM file
South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety program evaluation findings report
Drink-driving offenders on South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety project test alcohol-free at over 99% of the twice-daily breath tests intended to enforce abstinence via the threat of immediate brief imprisonment, and subsequent recidivism is lower than among other drink-driving offenders in the state.
Intensive testing allied with swift and certain but not severe sanctions for non-compliance dramatically curbed drug use, prison time and re-arrest rates among a high risk group of drug using US offenders; most did not need treatment to help them comply with the court orders.
London pilot of enforced sobriety offers useful insights to inform expansion of the Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement scheme.
STUDY 2013 HTM file
Criminal justice responses to drug related crime in Scotland
In one expert package, the recent history, results, achievements and possible drawbacks of Scotland's concerted attempt to engage drug-driven offenders in treatment at nearly every stage of the criminal justice system. Widening treatment access may have been the main plus, also widening entanglement in the criminal justice system the main minus.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Will intensive testing and sanctions displace treatment?
Enforce frequent drug or alcohol testing and levy swift, certain and meaningful sanctions for substance use, and many dependent users stop using without treatment. Is this increasingly how problem use will be dealt with, or just a niche option applicable to users over whom society can exert sufficient leverage?
South Dakota appears to have achieved impressive results not by treating repeat drink-driving offenders but by requiring abstinence and enforcing this via frequent testing and the threat of immediate brief imprisonment; perhaps intensive intervention can be reserved for the few who do not comply.
REVIEW 2011 HTM file
A new paradigm for long-term recovery
On the basis of three innovative US programmes for offenders or doctors with substance use problems, this analysis concludes that many seriously dependent individuals stop using if non-use is enforced through intensive monitoring and swift, certain but not necessarily severe consequences.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
Setting the standard for recovery: physicians' health programs
US physician health programmes demonstrate that long-term intensive monitoring of substance use allied with swift and certain sanctions and abstinence-based mutual aid and treatment can enable seriously dependent individuals to stop using psychoactive substances.
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