Paging Dr. Kafka

Coerced treatment is always a tricky proposition. But it’s worse when people are forced to be treated for diseases they don’t actually have, and not considered “cured” until they admit to having them.

That’s Maia Szalavitz’s rather grim take on the burgeoning teen-drug-treatment industry. She knows what she’s talking about.

Dealing with kids who have real drug problems is hard work. But the field has also attracted more than its share of sleazy operators and child abusers. I wonder whether Andrea Barthwell, the widely-admired deputy drug czar for treatment, will be allowed to speak out about this? And can we expect to hear from the American Society for Addiction Medicine?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: