Comparing outcomes of 'voluntary' and 'quasi-compulsory' treatment of substance dependence in Europe

Michael Schaub, Alex Stevens, Daniele Berto, Neil Hunt, Viktoria Kerschl, Tim McSweeney, Kerrie Oeuvray, Irene Puppo, Alberto Santa Maria, Barbara Trinkl, Wolfgang Werdenich, Ambros Uchtenhagen

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This study evaluates quasi-compulsory drug treatment (QCT) arrangements for substance-dependent offenders receiving treatment instead of imprisonment in comparison to voluntary treatment within five European countries. Methods: Participants were interviewed with the European Addiction Severity Index, the ASI-crime module, questions on perception of pressure and self-efficacy, and the Readiness-to-Change Questionnaire at treatment entry and after 6, 12, and 18 months. Results: Reductions in substance use and crime as well as improvements in health and social integration were observed in QCT and voluntary treatment groups. After controlling for various factors, subjects in the QCT and the comparison group showed similar reductions in substance use and crime over time. Study retention was comparable in both groups. Conclusion: QCT is as effective as voluntary treatment provided in the same services in reducing substance use and crime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Addiction Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • ASI-crime module
  • European Addiction Severity Index
  • Last observation carried forward method
  • Quasi-compulsory drug treatment
  • Readiness-to-Change Questionnaire
  • Substance-dependent offenders


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