Compulsory treatment for drug-dependent persons: justifications for a public health approach to drug dependency

Milbank Q. 1991;69(4):561-93.


Compulsory treatment for drug users is often rejected as neither an effective nor an acceptable exercise of state authority. Recent research studies indicate that compulsory treatment can work and that, if carefully put into effect, it can represent an important public health component of the response to drug use. Finally, a program of compulsory treatment can be shaped with concerns for due process in mind, so that civil liberties will not be violated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Control*
  • Civil Rights
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Criminal Law / trends
  • Federal Government
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Mandatory Programs*
  • Patient Rights
  • Patient Selection
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Public Health*
  • Resource Allocation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • United States
  • Voluntary Programs