Although a majority of mentally disordered offenders have substance use problems (Wright et al, 2002), as yet there have been few attempts to understand the human and financial cost of this problem in forensic mental health services. The current study examined the effect of a drugs and alcohol programme (Derry, 2005) on re‐admission rates. As would be expected, patients with a history of substance misuse were found to be more likely to use drugs and alcohol on discharge. This group of patients were found to be at increased risk of re‐admission to forensic mental health services. Patients who participated in a 24‐session cognitive behavioural substance use programme were found to spend significantly more time in the community (89%) than those who did not (77%). These initial findings suggest that treatment for drug and alcohol problems can be effective in reducing re‐admission rates, and warrants further investigation.
Derry, A. and Batson, A. (2008), "Getting out and staying out: does substance use treatment have an effect on outcome of mentally disordered offenders after discharge from medium secure service?", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 13-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636646200800009
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