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Clinical Indicators of Successful Substance Use Treatment among Adults in the Criminal Justice System

Abstract

A significant proportion of offenders in the criminal justice system require substance use treatment to foster desistance from criminal activities. Optimization of treatment outcomes is vital to reducing criminal justice involvement, especially post-treatment arrest. The current study examined clinical risk factors and their relationship with post-treatment recovery and arrest within the Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Outcome (CATOR) system, the largest independent evaluation service of substance use treatment programs across the United States.

Multivariate logistic regression analyses determined that patients who were younger, male, and received a drug dependence diagnosis as opposed to alcohol dependence were more likely to be arrested within one-year of discharge from treatment. Additionally, patients who relapsed were more than two and a half times as likely to be arrested within one year of treatment discharge compared to those who did not relapse (OR = 2.70, 95 % C.I. = 2.05–3.54, Wald’s χ2 = 51.16).

The findings from this research have far-reaching implications for treatment programs designed specifically for patients involved in the criminal justice system.

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Correspondence to Albert M. Kopak.

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Conflict of Interest

Albert M. Kopak, Sydney Hurt, Steven L. Proctor and Norman G. Hoffmann have no conflicts of interest to report.

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Informed consent was obtained from human subjects and protection was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Foundation supervising the study.

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Kopak, A.M., Hurt, S., Proctor, S.L. et al. Clinical Indicators of Successful Substance Use Treatment among Adults in the Criminal Justice System. Int J Ment Health Addiction 14, 831–843 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-016-9644-8

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Keywords

  • Recovery
  • Recidivism
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Risk factors