Escapes from compulsory treatment

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Escapes from compulsory treatment

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Escapes from compulsory treatment
Author(s) Svensson, Bengt
Date 2010
English abstract
AIMS The aim of this article is to describe and analyse the escape as a phenomenon in compulsory treatment of people with drug addiction. The primary research questions are: Why do the clients want to escape? What escape possibilities are available in different stations of the treatment? How are escapes planned and accomplished? What do the absconders do during the escape? How do they avoid getting caught? What are the health risks for the clients in connection with escapes? In what ways are escapes a problem in compulsory treatment? ■ METHODS The study is based upon semi-structured interviews with 74 clients (38 women) at four LVM-homes, two for men, two for women. In addition to the interviews, the author also conducted informal conversations with both personnel and clients and carried out extensive observations of the conditions of compulsory treatment. ■ RESULTS The clients make preparations in order to make the escapes as successful as possible. The flight is connected with feelings of excitement but also with the fear of getting caught before the primary aim(s) of the escape has been accomplished, namely to get high on drugs and to meet friends and partners. During their stay outside the institution, help from the client’s personal network is important in order to get a secure place to stay, food and money. Almost all clients describe that, during the escape, they return to a similar pattern of the drug and risk-taking behaviour they had before they were put into compulsory treatment. ■ CONCLUSIONS When people with drug addiction are locked in for treatment they often show resistance and wish to regain control. Escapes are an unavoidable feature of compulsory treatment as eventually locked doors have to be opened in order to prepare the clients for life outside the institutions. It would seem that the best way to reduce the amount of escapes is to make the treatment as meaningful as possible for the clients.
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Publisher Nordens Välfärdscenter
Host/Issue Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs;1
Volume 27
ISSN 1455-0725
Pages 47-62
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) escapes
compulsory treatment
risk taking behaviour
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
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