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