Horrocks, Christine, Barker, Val, Kelly, Nancy and Robinson, David (2004) Coercive treatment for drug misuse: a dialogical juncture. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 14 (5). pp. 345-355. ISSN 1052-9284

This article adopts a dialogical relational perspective to explore the recently introduced initiative of coercive treatment for drug misuse in the UK. Conversational interviews were undertaken with 11 people who had been sentenced to the Drug Treatment and Testing Order. Receiving treatment for drug misuse is often storied within a motivational account that is expectant of a readiness to change; such assumptions seem theoretically problematic when change is legally imposed. Therefore, moral and ethical concerns surround the introduction of this initiative, however the interview data illustrates the potential that participation might offer for the creation of counterstories where a more moral self can be enacted. Our analysis suggests that this counterstory is co-constructed thus being an outcome of both self and other. Furthermore such stories appear fragile; constantly under assault from detrimental authoritative discourses that are not only part of wider social understandings around drug misuse but also permeate the policy and practice of coercive treatment.

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