Why Do Adolescents Drop Out of a Therapeutic Community for People With Drug Addiction?

Gila Chen, Ety Elisha, Uri Timor, Natti Ronel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Dropouts from therapeutic communities for people with drug addiction have long been of interest to researchers, and most of the resulting research has been based on quantitative data. The aim of the current qualitative study is to present the perception of adolescent residents regarding their experience of dropping out of Retorno, a Jewish therapeutic community in Israel. Deep, semi-structured interviews with 11 adolescents who had dropped out provided the data. Four main themes of meaning were found: (a) antagonistic interaction between the adolescents and the staff; (b) their subjective reasons for dropping out; (c) adolescents' perceptions about Retorno's cumulative impact; and (d) their current recovery. The most prominent finding was that most of them reported that they had adapted a normative lifestyle and were drug abstinent. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • addiction treatment
  • adolescents
  • dropping out
  • recovery
  • therapeutic community


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