Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jason S. Ulsperger
Therapeutic communities are typically drug-free residential settings that treat drug abuse and addiction in various predetermined stages. They exist in prisons, hospitals, and the community at large. As individuals pass through each level of treatment in a therapeutic community, they attain increased levels of personal and social stability; this, in turn, allows them to learn social norms and improve their social skills. Therapeutic communities are different from other drug treatment approaches in the range of people involved in the treatment process. Unlike in other kinds of programs, in a therapeutic community the addict, other program members, and staff are thought to be equally important to recovery. Using a reward and punishment system, the participants interact in ways that influence each other's attitudes and behaviors related to drug use. Individuals in treatment are considered to be the main contributors to their own recovery, but they also are required to assume partial ...