Does Forced Treatment Save Taxpayers “Gobs of Money”?


Time magazine’s Haley Sweetland Edwards reports on a study that showed that Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) saves taxpayers “gobs of money.”

“A new study, released this week by the Health Management Associates, a consulting firm, found that states and counties that have passed laws to allow local judges to order people into short-term psychiatric treatment spend substantially less money on treating mental illness than states and counties that don’t,” writes Edwards.

Edwards’ article, however, does not distinguish between the impacts of the voluntary services offered in AOT programs from the involuntary treatment sometimes provided, which all major peer-reviewed studies on AOT have determined is crucial. Those studies have consistently found there to be no benefits to taxpayers or patients from the involuntary treatment. The only study that Edwards’ article does cite was actually “developed for” the Treatment Advocacy Center, the most prominent proponents of AOT in the country.

Should Mentally Ill People Be Forced Into Treatment? (Time, February 20, 2015)

Another Study Finds No Benefits from Forced Outpatient Treatment (Mad In America, December 26, 2014)


  1. That Time article is pretty pathetic, perhaps they take a lot of money in pharmaceutical advertising? And it’s completely incorrect that only violent people are forcibly treated.

    The psychiatrists will forcibly treat you if they’re covering up easily recognized iatrogenesis for an incompetent doctor whose paranoid of a legitimate malpractice suit.

    And the psychiatrists will forcibly treat you if they want to help cover up medical evidence of child abuse for a religion.

    And the psychiatrists will forcibly treat you if you’re an organ donor, because killing organ donors is really profitable for the hospitals.

    The psychiatrists will forcibly treat anyone, for any profitable reason.

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  2. Let’s sum up:
    – cost of keeping people locked up – a lot of money
    – cost of drugs forced on people – a lot of money
    – cost of disability payments – a lot of money
    Benefit from forced treatment: nothing at all.

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