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Calif. drug treatment plan seems to work

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LOS ANGELES, Sep 23, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A report Thursday concluded about a third of the drug offenders ordered into treatment under a new California law successfully complete the program.

The UCLA study was the first to evaluate the success of Proposition 36, which was passed two years ago and mandates treatment rather than jail for first-time drug offenders. The study noted although less than half of the offenders had completed their treatment in the year ending June 30, 2003, around 70 percent of the 36,000 who agreed to treatment showed up for the program despite often having drug-use histories stretching back 10 years.

The majority of the offenders in the program were young, Latino males and methamphetamine users.

The Drug Policy Alliance, which supports reforms of U.S. narcotics laws, said the report offered proof treatment rather than jail has a positive impact.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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