We interviewed by random sample 20 graduates and 20 dropouts from a drug dependence therapeutic community to identify any differences between groups. Although the two groups were from similar backgrounds at admission, the graduates seemed to do better after treatment.
Throughout the follow-up period, the graduates spent proportionately less time addicted or in jail and proportionately more time employed or in school than those who dropped out of the treatment program. At follow-up, more graduates were available for voluntary abstinence and were abstaining from addicting drugs than were the dropouts. Also, at the follow-up interview, more graduates were employed or in school and fewer were legally involved than the dropouts. In the dropout group, abstinence in the follow-up period was correlated with longer length of treatment.