Discussion 1: Evaluating Treatment Approaches

When it comes to treating drug offenders, forensic treatment practitioners must have a solid understanding of desired outcomes in order to select a suitable treatment approach. Drug abuse often results in uncharacteristic behavior and may actually generate complications related to the mental health treatment and physical well being of the offender. Treatment outcomes are not “one size fits all,” and desirable outcomes differ for each offender. For some offenders, a successful outcome is never to use substances again, and the relapse treatment outcome model would best describe the desired outcome of lifelong abstinence. For other offenders, success is defined as the offender doing less damage to relationships and to society through controlled use of substances, and therefore the harm-reduction model fits best. Finally, success with the recidivism model simply means that the drug offender does not return to the criminal justice system. Each desired treatment outcome is specific to the individual offender in terms of how success is defined. This definition impacts the choice of treatment approach and guides aftercare planning as well.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Select a treatment approach that is of particular interest to you for drug offenders.
Conduct an academic search in the Walden Library, and select at least one scholarly article from a peer-reviewed journal that discusses the treatment approach you selected. This treatment approach should demonstrate efficacy in treating drug-offending forensic populations.
Reflect on the treatment outcome models found in the resources for this week. Think about how the treatment approach in the research article you selected might be evaluated by using these treatment outcome models.
Select one treatment outcome model that you think would be the most effective for measuring the success of your selected treatment approach.

Andersen, T. S. (2018). Social support and one-year outcomes for women participating in prison-based substance abuse treatment programming. Criminal Justice Studies, 31(1), 80-94.

Kopak, A. M. (2015). Breaking the addictive cycle of the system: improving US criminal justice practices to address substance use disorders. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 11(1), 4-16.

Murphy, J. (2017). Addiction frameworks and support for expanding treatment for drug offenders. Contemporary Drug Problems, 44(3), 232-245.

Norman, S., Gray, R., & MacMaster, S. (2015). Drug court success: outcomes and cost savings of an innovative residential drug court treatment program for felony offenders. Tennessee Bar Journal, 51(3), 16-22.

Document: Treatment Outcome Models (PDF)

Use these treatment outcome models to guide you through the Discussions for this week.