Assessment of an Innovative Voluntary Substance Abuse Treatment Program Designed to Replace Compulsory Drug Detention Centers in Malaysia

Khan, Farrah and Krishnan, Archana and Ghani, Mansur A. and Wickersham, Jeffrey A. and Fu, Jeannia Jiani and Lim, Sin How and Dhaliwal, Sangeeth Kaur and Kamarulzaman, Adeeba and Altice, Frederick L. (2018) Assessment of an Innovative Voluntary Substance Abuse Treatment Program Designed to Replace Compulsory Drug Detention Centers in Malaysia. Substance Use and Misuse, 53 (2). pp. 249-259. ISSN 1082-6084, DOI

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Background: As part of an ongoing initiative by the Malaysian government to implement alternative approaches to involuntary detention of people who use drugs, the National Anti-Drug Agency has created new voluntary drug treatment programs known as Cure and Care (C&C) Centers that provide free access to addiction treatment services, including methadone maintenance therapy, integrated with social and health services. Objectives: We evaluated early treatment outcomes and client satisfaction among patients accessing C&C treatment and ancillary services at Malaysia's second C&C Center located in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Methods: In June-July 2012, a cross-sectional convenience survey of 96 C&C inpatients and outpatients who entered treatment >30 days previously was conducted to assess drug use, criminal justice experience, medical co-morbidities, motivation for seeking treatment, and attitudes towards the C&C. Drug use was compared for the 30-day-period before C&C entry and the 30-day-period before the interview. Results: Self-reported drug use levels decreased significantly among both inpatient and outpatient clients after enrolling in C&C treatment. Higher levels of past drug use, lower levels of social support, and more severe mental health issues were reported by participants who were previously imprisoned. Self-reported satisfaction with C&C treatment services was high. Conclusions/Importance: Preliminary evidence of reduced drug use and high levels of client satisfaction among C&C clients provide support for Malaysia's ongoing transition from compulsory drug detention centers (CDDCs) to these voluntary drug treatment centers. If C&C centers are successful, Malaysia plans to gradually transition away from CDDCs entirely.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asia; addiction treatment; compulsory drug detention centers; drug policy; harm reduction; Malaysia
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA)
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2019 06:59
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2019 06:59

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