Prison is Not a Solution to Addiction

People who are arrested for crimes related to drugs or alcohol may help them get sober during their sentence but they will not recover when their sentence is over. According to the National Council and Drug Dependence Inc., 80% of crimes are committed that are related to drugs and alcohol. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals say that 95% of incarcerated adults return to substance abuse. Prisons need to try harder to treat offenders who are addicts or they will keep returning to jail and continue to ruin the lives of themselves or others.

So far, only 20% of state and federal prisons offer treatment to addicted offenders. There needs to be a more serious form of treatment to prevent relapses. When inmates are released, they are surrounded again by people who use and an environment of drug dealing. Jail may not have an open bar but there are still abusive substances that are smuggled into prisons which can make an inmate continue. Treatment in prisons do not address the underlying problems or diseases that have caused someone to become an addict. Especially those who have had a long history of substance abuse can be the ones that are the hardest to recover.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse says that 65% of inmates are addicts. Keeping them away from drugs will not help them realize that drugs are bad for you as they will pick their addiction back up again when their sentence is over. There have been inmates who have died in prison from severe withdrawal symptoms such as excessive hunger, lethargy, loss of appetite, shakiness, feeling cold, and more.

Addicted offenders should be given the option of either serving a prison sentence or completing rehab. Those who enter rehab because of legal pressure have a better chance of recovering than those without that pressure. They will also have a better chance of attending treatment and staying for a longer amount of time with legal pressure than without. Therapists should teach inmates how to avoid or cope with situations that can turn into a relapse. Cognitive behavioral therapy should be given to inmates to teach them positive social and coping skills as well as motivational enhancement to enhancement to increase treatment engagement. A medical professional should also supervise the inmates when exhibiting withdrawal symptoms. Inmates need medical, psychological, and social services for a successful recovery.


Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.

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