- substance abuse,
- internalizing disorder,
- mental health
Title: The moderating relationship of comorbid psychopathology and treatment outcome for young adult offenders in drug court.
Background: The drug court system is an alternative to incarceration that provides offenders with non-violent, substance motivated crimes with an opportunity to dismiss their charges and undergo a rigorous substance abuse treatment program. It is unknown whether drug court is effective for young adult clients and the role of co-occurring psychopathology within this context.
Methods: This study evaluated the overall effectiveness of a drug court system applied to young adult offenders ages 18-26, and additionally explored the moderating relationship of psychiatric symptoms on treatment outcome. Seventy-four clients were assessed at baseline and at 6-month follow-up.
Findings: Participants reported reductions in substance use (M=35.51, SD=29.92; M=7.79, SD=17.83; t(71)=7.00, p < 0.001) and mental health symptoms (M=48.26, SD=36.49; M=36.40, SD=37.99; t(71)=2.05, p < 0.05) at follow-up. Additionally, moderators of outcome were found based on internalizing and externalizing mental health symptoms.
Conclusions: Drug court may be an effective alternative to incarceration for young adults and may benefit higher severity clients in particular.
Dual Diagnosis: Open Access, v. 3, no. 2, art. 7
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kathleen_moore/56/