Mandatory Treatment Violates Human Rights .pdf
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Mandatory Treatment Violates Human Rights, Inadequate for Reducing Drug Use - Study
The current global trends of mandatory treatment of substance abuse problems are not effective and are
against the tenets of human rights, says a recent study. Moreover, the researchers found that the
mandatory treatment was not effective in reducing drug use.
The researchers felt that the mandatory treatment, defined as “treatment ordered,” motivated or
supervised under the criminal justice system and done without a patient’s informed consent, is in gross
violation of human rights. It does more harm than good to the patients, the researchers found.
Idrisov, M.D., M.Sc.,
and Karsten Lunze,
M.D., M.P.H., DrPH,
and Education Unit at
Boston Medical Center
(BMC) and Boston
University School of
with other researchers
Malaysia and after
accessing the global
countries lack the
The study, published in the BMJ in June 2016, stated that countries lack in offering diagnostic and
therapeutic modalities to patients. Besides, there is also a lack of trained professionals required for
effective treatment of addiction problem. They argued that in the absence of these measures, the
treatment cannot be effective and may not provide long-term benefits.
Effective measures as suggested by the study
The authors suggested that the countries need to implement measures that are based on rigorous
scientific studies. It is only then that a country can expect to successfully reduce substance use disorder
Some of the strategies recommended by the researchers include:
• Community-based opioid treatment: The study advocates that community-based opioid treatment
can greatly help tackle substance use disorder in a country. Successful implementation of methadone and
buprenorphine can form the basis of a success story.
• Needle exchange programs: The researches said that harm-reduction programs like needle exchange
also go a long way in reducing the rates of substance abuse in a community. There is constant monitoring
of patients in such programs and addicts are always within the purview of clinicians and care providers.
Such programs also manage to reduce other risk factors for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis in
• Imparting education: With knowledge comes awareness, which in turn sets the onset of a positive
development. It is paramount to impart education and give information regarding medications, such as
naloxone, for overdoses to addicts as well as their families. With increased awareness, there would be
corrections and people would at least ponder before acting on an impulse.
Even the senior adviser to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Fabienne Hariga, M.D., M.P.H.,
in a recent meeting in New York, applauded the findings. “The evidence presented in this article provides
additional argumentation supporting the position of all U.N. organizations that mandatory treatment
settings do not represent a favorable or effective environment for the treatment of drug dependence,"
“The United Nations therefore calls on States to transition from mandatory drug treatment and
implement voluntary, evidence-informed and rights-based health and social services in the community.”
Available treatment options
Early treatment intervention holds the key to a long-term recovery and successful treatment for substance
use disorder patients. If a loved one is grappling with any substance abuse problem and you are looking
for drug rehab centers in Florida, the Florida Drug Addiction Helpline can assist you. Call our 24/7 helpline
number at 855-982-2401 for immediate assistance.
Our experts can guide you to one of the best addiction treatment centers in Florida where recovery is
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