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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 10, 889 - 892

Case report

Alcohol-dependent patients opposed to treatment can be helped by treatment enforced by law

A.A. van Oosteren, A. Roomer

A 65-year-old man with severe alcohol dependence failed to realise that he was ill and needed treatment. Outpatient treatment was not successful and the patient’s physical condition deteriorated and became life-threatening. He was forced by law to undergo inpatient treatment. After more than a year of treatment in a clinic the patient acknowledged he was ill and admitted to being an alcoholic. Compulsory treatment enforced by law for patients with addictive disorders is a complicated process requiring good coordination between the therapists involved. It can be effective and save lives.

keywords alcohol dependence, compulsory admission