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Behavioral management to reduce substance abuse, crime and re-arrest for drug-involved parolees
Date:1/10/2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A study from Rhode Island Hospital has found that collaborative behavioral management may be effective in reducing substance abuse among convicted marijuana users who are paroled. The findings have important implications for the management of a substantial proportion of the U.S. community correctional population. The study is published in Addiction and is available online in advance of print.

In the U.S., over 700,000 inmates leave prisons each year and over two-thirds of those inmates have a drug problem. The return of these inmates to the community is a critical issue for public health and safety. Relapse following release contributes to the re-arrest of more than two-thirds of parolees and re-incarceration of over half of inmates in the three years after release. While treatment can reduce relapse, drug-involved ex-inmates give limited priority to addiction treatment. Surveillance with the threat of sanction by parole officers is the traditional method of following parolees, yet many ex-offenders fall into the same pattern and are arrested again.

Knowing that contingency management can be an effective treatment for drug abuse and addiction, researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and nationwide, led by Peter D. Friedmann, M.D., performed a clinical trial called "Step 'n Out" to determine whether collaborative behavioral management would be effective in reducing substance abuse, crime and re-arrest among drug-involved parolees. This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.

Friedmann, a physician and an addiction health services researcher at Rhode Island Hospital, explains, "Because of the so-called War on Drugs, an unprecedented number of people have been put in prison for drug use and the great majority of them return to the community. Community reentry is a difficult period having a criminal record makes it hard to get a job and you usually return
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Contact: Nancy Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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