Journal article

Welfare, temperance and compulsory commitment to care for persons with substance misuse problems: a comparative study of 38 European countries


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Publication Details

Author list: Israelsson, Magnus

Publication year: 2011

Start page: 329

End page: 341

Number of pages: 13

ISSN: 1022-6877


View additional information: View in Web of Science


Aims: The study explores the existence and types of law on compulsory commitment to care (CCC) of adult substance misusers in Europe and how such laws are related to variations in demographics, alcohol consumption and epidemiology in misuse of opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, temperance culture heritage, health and welfare expenditure, and involvement and role of the state in welfare distribution. Material and Methods: Legal information on laws on CCC of misusers was obtained primarily through a survey of 38 European countries. Predictors of laws on CCC, and types of such, were analyzed from country descriptors in multivariate models. Results: A majority (74%) of the explored countries have a law concerning CCC. The most common type of CCC law is within criminal justice legislation (45%), but civil CCC is almost as frequent (37%). These two models of CCC legislation are related to differences in cultural heritage and welfare distribution models. Conclusions: Temperance cultures, i.e. countries with a history of a strong temperance movement, and countries with a Beveridgean distribution of welfare, i.e. through the state, tend to favor civil CCC, while countries with a Bismarckian distribution of welfare, i.e. through insurance with less state interference, tend to favor CCC within criminal justice legislation.


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