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Abstract

Controversy surrounding the complex issues involved in the compulsory treatment of addicts is by no means new. Statutes explicitly substituting compulsory "treatment" for criminal penalties in the case of addicts charged with criminal offenses, and providing for the involuntary commitment of addicts upon civil complaint, first appeared in 1961 in California, and then in New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland, as well as on the Federal level. But given society's present concern with the "drug problem," it is inevitable that, as the waiting lists of applicants for voluntary treatment programs are eliminated by the expansion of these latter programs, the debate over involuntary treatment will grow.

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