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 ndsn.org 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!