Who receives treatment in a therapeutic community?

TCs treat people with a range of substance abuse problems. Those treated often have other severe problems, such as multiple drug addictions, involvement with the criminal justice system, lack of positive social support, and mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and antisocial and other personality disorders).

For example, in DATOS, which tracked 2,345 admissions to residential TC treatment between 1991 and 1993, two-thirds of admissions had a criminal justice status (e.g., on probation, on parole, or pending trial) at admission, and about a third had been referred to treatment from the criminal justice system. Nearly a third of admissions were women, and nearly half were African American. Sixty percent had prior drug abuse treatment experience.

Graph depicting changes in drug use pre- and posttreatment in long-term residential TCs.Pre- and posttreatment self-reported changes among those in long-term residential TCs *p<.01 for changes pre- and posttreatment. Pretreatment measures are for the 12 months before admission. Posttreatment measures are for the 12 months after treatment.
Source: Hubbard et al., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 11:261-278, 1997.

This page was last updated August 2002