Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services Conducted under the Aegis of Courts

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services Conducted under the Aegis of Courts

Article excerpt

Few studies of problems within families, such as child maltreatment, substance abuse or mental health, evaluate the role of law as an intervention variable. When there are disagreements about the necessity of a specific medical, behavioral health, or public health intervention, especially in any society with groups of people with different religious, ethnic or political beliefs, the legitimacy of law in resolving conflicts about treatment is likely to be challenged. Four types of legal proceeding that invoke the "non-accusatory authority of state employees" to provide a remedy for health, mental health or substance abuse issues will be reviewed in this talk, including examples of published research on the effects of court-ordered treatment. Since science provides the very foundation for state intervention to prevent or remediate health problems both within populations and individuals' situations, there is a clear need for more and better research on the power and limitations of legal intervention to address problems such as child maltreatment. …

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