Alternatives to Prison

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Last Updated on May 12, 2021 by Content

Substance abuse among the various causes individuals enter criminal enforcement, illegal drug usage is one of the most extreme. Drug addiction And abuse don’t all go away when an individual is imprisoned; the root issues persist and will make things difficult for a person to return to normal life after being released from jail. The near association between substance abuse and prison is a hot topic among lawmakers, taxpayers, and the general public.

Is imprisonment another option for drug addicts? Today, let us discuss this topic that if a drug addict is incarcerated, what happens to him or her after he or she has been released. Does his or her crime rate decrease? There can be many other significant issues faced by persons who have been removed from prison due to drug addiction. 

We can say that addiction to substance abuse is a disease related to the brain. This disorder affects neurotransmitters in the brain badly. Those neurotransmitters are accountable for joy, life rewards, and control over oneself, which means stability in our behavior over time. He or she is unable to make decisions related to his o her life. When classical conditioning becomes influential to substance abuse, there is a great and undeniable need to achieve the satisfaction level developed earlier. When becoming addicted to a specific type of drug, they can not tolerate fulfilling the satisfaction with any means. 

Substance abuse is one of the unlawful grounds behind the people enters jails. But the question is that “does the habit of drug abuse vanish?” The answer is simply “no!” Why? Because, after a person is released from prison, he or she feels upset. Although he or she had given up the habit of drinking alcohol or other substance abuse, he or she has exposure to them. Now, as he or she is out, can do anything he or she wants.
Moreover, He or She May Start Abusing the Drug Again Due to The Following Factors:

  • Decreased social activities
  • The stigma of being in prison due to substance abuse 
  • Isolation due to reduced social activities
  • Unemployment
  • Career burdens 
  • Economic pressures
  • Boredom

Drugs and Violence Go Together Really Good

Newsweek featured a piece of writing on substance abuse some weeks before today. This article reported that there are approximately 2.3 million people in jails in the United States prison system. About half of those people are having a history of drug addiction. And that number is approximately 1.2 million. 

The estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was even more surprising, noting an estimated 1.9 million people in jail or prison who have used illegal dugs. Since substance abuse weakens consciousness, decision-making skills, and hang-ups, there is a high risk of committing awful crimes while under the influence of these substance abuses.

  • Nearly 83% of prisoners in jails at the state level had a history of illegal substance abuse.
  • Nearly 73% of prisoners in federal jails had a history of illegal drug abuse.
  • Drug use was a contributing factor to crime. At the moment of their offense, they were affected by substance abuse when they committed the crime. They contributed 33 per cent of the state and 22 per cent of federal prisoners. At the time of the offence, 36% of prisoners were using substance abuse.
  • The United States Department of Justice releases a report in which was stated that “about 67 per cent of the prisoners in jails or prisons will be captured again due to drug abuse within the period of 3 years.
  • They also have approximated that about 50 per cent of the prisoners as mentioned above will violate technical laws and be imprisoned again within three years after the release.
  • The United States Department of Justice also approximates that out of 800,000 prisoners in either jails or prisons who actually necessitated the substance abuse treatment, only 33 per cent or less got the treatment they needed.

Why Is It More Necessary than Imprisonment to Get Medication?

Treatment for the addiction on any kind of substance abuse is a life-saving move. If treatment becomes successful, it makes life healthier and contributes to the bright future of the victim. But, if we compare drug abuse treatment with imprisonment, it seems a dull move because going to prison or jail means you have become a criminal and your drug abuse habit has power over you, and you can not control yourself against the substance abuse. Going to prison or jail also makes you stigmatic even when you are released from jail or prison. The above estimates of the United States Department of Justice clearly convey the message that even if you are released from prison or jail, you have increased the chances that you have established the nature of committing crimes. And according to the above-stated approximates, you are more likely to be in prison or jail within three years for substance abuse. So, going to prison is not a long-term strategy.

The price of imprisonment in terms of all facets of running a prison or jail is exceptionally high (For example, resources, available reinforcement, enhanced safety, etc.). So, this becomes clear that if you want fewer prisoners in jails or prisons of the state department due to substance abuse, you need to handle victims using drug treatment method. This can be a long-term strategy for the state. For countries that have introduced these policies, the concept of opioid rehab as an alternative option to imprisonment for substance abuse has been reasonably cost-effective. States doing so can make people healthier and also can keep society crime-free to the maximum extent. 

E.g., Maryland’s annual criminal expenses have declined from about twenty thousand dollars to four thousand dollars. The very same JusticePolicy.org article said that care rates typically vary from eighteen hundred dollars to sixty-eight hundred dollars, just below the expense of imprisonment. This to decrease cost, states need to cure people of substance abuse permanently rather than incarceration. This move will not only save money but contribute to a healthier society for a more extended period of time which is a better option for states to utilize. 

Proposal 36 of California demanded treatment of substance abuse dependence rather than a jail term for people approaching the justice system for drug-related crimes. In the first three years, the state invested millions, but it predicted that the service would save the state up to 150 million dollars a year in a longer-term perspective. So, it is proved with the statistics that if states want to save money and want long-term outcomes, they should go for the treatment programs for the substance abusers.

It is necessary to cure the substance abuse habit; although it can be a difficult thing to do, it is not impossible. If proper care and treatment are given to the victim at an early stage, they can save their lives from destruction. So, all you need to do is take care of your family and friends and take notes at the early stage. Otherwise, it can be more challenging to handle the situation. If substance abuse is not treated at the proper time, it may change into a mental illness. So, be alert and save a life.

RECOVERY: Is Recovery Necessary or Not?

Author J. Rendon in his book on substance abuse that he wrote concerning the people who faced difficulties and found meanings in their lives, says ” in one of his quotations while interviewing militants who met the Stress Disorder which he named “PTSD (Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder) and other traumas they met “People who met a trauma say that after running a lot from tragedy and traumas, they eventually got helped to become a new man and to become a better person. No one would ever consider a possible concussion to be a part of their life but experiencing substance abuse and surviving from it and gaining recovery after the trauma realize that it changed their life absolutely. ” 

In an article in the New York Times on substance abuse, He further quoted, “when veteran militants discuss their traumas in the past military life and how they recovered, they develop positive change in themselves. While telling their story, they try to create a perspective of the things related to the trauma.”  

Rendon told the publication about substance abuse conversations he conducted and how they influenced his own perspective when he spoke to individuals: “What an extraordinary human, I believe. Then I think of all the other people telling about similar experiences. This sort of miraculous reversal isn’t uncommon, and it turns out. Many people have the capacity for such really go.”

R. Tedeschi and L. Calhoun developed the concept of PTG(Post-Traumatic-Growth) by research on substance abuse. They were Psychologists at the University of N. Carolina when they experimented with the idea. They interviewed those people who survived after severe injuries. The next step they took was questioning those people who lost their spouses in the recent past. So, what they find, they are categorized into five categories. 

They found the five categories of recovery from trauma

  1. New Taste for Life
  2. Discovering New Opportunities
  3. Feeling Added Strength in their Physical and Mental Body
  4. Improvement in Relationships 
  5. Increased Spiritual Satisfaction

Feel like you (or somebody you adore) placed your decisions or somebody else at risk? Do you face legal problems due to your addictive behavior? Are you taking unhealthy chances with your substance abuse? If so, then it could be necessary to go and get assistance. Contact us 24/7. Via this, we are all here to speak to everyone about substance abuse.