Socially sanctioned coercion mechanisms for addiction treatment

Edgar P. Nace, Florian Birkmayer, Maria A. Sullivan, Marc Galanter, John A. Fromson, Richard J. Frances, Frances R. Levin, Collins Lewis, Richard T. Suchinsky, John S. Tamerin, Joseph Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Coercion as a strategy for treatment of addiction is an effective but often negatively perceived approach. The authors review current policies for involuntary commitments and explore coercive dimensions of treating alcohol and drug dependence in the workplace, sports, and through professional licensure. Gender-specific issues in coercion are considered, including evidence for improved treatment retention among pregnant and parenting women coerced via the criminal justice system. Social security disability benefits represent an area where an opportunity for constructive coercion was missed in the treatment of primary or comorbid substance use disorders. The availability of third-party funding for the voluntary treatment of individuals with substance use disorders has decreased. This unmet need, coupled with the evidence for positive clinical outcomes, highlights the call for implementing socially sanctioned mechanisms of coercion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


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