What Does the Research Show

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2010 at 5:58 am

Reading the comments that I have been getting, I decided to draw upon the issues that were brought to my attention. I think my favorite comment was the one that mentioned that most drug treatment patients relapse, and if they do not want to be in rehab in the first place, how would treatment even help them. Well, first off, I think that the rehab would have to be very intense and done in a way that did not release patients until they could accurately tell that they learned something. That is just my take though. Let me enlighten you on some research that I feel tells exactly why treatment should be forced on drug offenders. 

Did you know that the federal government only spends 20% of the $17 billions allocated to the drug-control budget that funds drug and alcohol treatment? Also, research from the says that every dollar invested in drug treatment can save $7 in both societal and medical costs.  

Stepping away from the monetary parts of this issue, Craig Love (Brown University researcher) did a study on women substance abusers in jail. He found that the 25% that went to treatment were rearrested later, while 62% of the women released without treatment were later rearrested. So, speaking to the commenter that said most drug users relapse, I think this shows that although relapses do happen, treatment is a lot more effective than sending drug offenders to jail. 

Sadly enough, I feel that the public is the problem in this issue. 84% of Americans think that in order to better control drug addiction, we need tougher criminal penalties. I do not think they understand that this is not helping the drug offenders, and if they realized this, they would probably change their opinions a bit. 

I know this ONE post covered a large variety of topics within my the treatment vs. jail issue, but I feel like they are all very important and all tie in together somehow. I would like to leave one last thought in your heads though. My researched has made me realize that there are very few treatment centers when it comes down to it, and if all the offenders were to be put into treatment instead, there would not be enough centers. As is, only 15% or people that need treatment actually get it. In order to really consider putting into effective the suggestions I have given, we need tons more treatment centers. I think that society would be immensely impacted by this change, and now more than ever, with all of the job cuts, I think it is time to set up some more treatment centers!


Rebuilding Social & Emotional Skills

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2010 at 6:47 am

Treatment centers would not only treat offenders for their drug problems, but they would also teach them important social skills to help them when they get out. Many of the offenders come from bad upbringings and they are missing vital emotional and social skills. Without the help of counselors or other figures of power, they would not readily gain these skills back or be taught them. Some of these include: trust, self-esteem, and anger management.

Sending these offenders to jail would punish them for their actions, but would not help them in any way in carving out a path for a better future. Many different articles mentioned how jail time would get people to think about their actions for a couple of weeks after getting out of jail, and they would then be back to their old habits. With treatment, though, these offenders would be gaining knowledge and help that could get them clean and give them goals to look forward to. This is important for all offenders futures including: mothers, fathers, young kids, athletes, etc. 

The emotional and social skills that would be taught at the treatment centers would allow them to fit into a clean society, where they need to be. It would help them to think more highly of themselves and see how much their actions play into the whole society. To me, one of the biggest reasons this needs to happen is to give mothers, single or left to raise their kids pretty much on their own, self-worth and the knowledge of how much impact they have on their kids’ lives. I think often times they do not understand how much their actions are looked up to by their children, and this causes the drug use to be passed on to them. Treatment centers would be extremely empowering to drug offenders rather than jails that do not help them in any way with their drug use, or the problems that could be causing them to use in the first place. They promote a lifestyle change instead of a quick fix that is not really fixing anything.

It’s Not Just a National Issue.

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2010 at 5:59 am

While researching drug issues, I came across the Drug Policy Alliance Network website. I immediately found an article on another aspect of the treatment vs. jail issue. People in the U.S.A. are usually most concerned with issues that affect them, however the current drug cartels in Mexico have people here afraid to cross the border. Mexico has always been a bit unsafe, but now people completely avoid going to Mexico due to their current drug problems. And, if we are that scared to go down there, imagine the situation for people who LIVE in the country.


In “Drugs and Democracy: Toward a Paradigm Shift,” a report issued by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, they basically stated that the United States, paired with the European Union, accounted for the greatest consumption of illegal drugs in the world. That is a really sad statement, and it made me realize that we, along with the European Union, are a huge part of the reason why Mexico’s drug cartels have gained so much power. Do people who buy drugs and use them in the U.S. know how greatly they are influencing this business in Mexico? Do they care that innocent people are dying down there because of the drug trading they are participating in? I think either they do not fully understand, or they are so selfish and greedy that they do not care about anything but themselves, and getting their drug fixes. 


What can we do in order to help fix this problem? Well, we can start by changing our policies a little. Most notably, like the report said, the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy thinks we ought to do a better job of taking the correct steps to reduce domestic drug consumption. A way that we could do this would definitely be to send people into treatment rather than jail so they come out clean. Jail is punishing them for the time being, but we need to help these other countries, as well as our own, and actually get people to stop using drugs completely. Jail is clearly not having this effect on drug offenders, so we need to change the system.