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Compulsory Treatment for Drug-Dependent Persons: Justifications for a Public Health Approach to Drug Dependency

Lawrence O. Gostin
The Milbank Quarterly
Vol. 69, No. 4, Confronting Drug Policy: Part 2 (1991), pp. 561-593
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Milbank Memorial Fund
DOI: 10.2307/3350228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3350228
Page Count: 33
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Compulsory Treatment for Drug-Dependent Persons: Justifications for a Public Health Approach to Drug Dependency
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Abstract

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.

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