Punishment For Addiction Isnt Treatment For Addiction
The punitive model of drug treatment seems to revel in shaming and confronting addicts with their problems, in an attempt to break them down. This Spartan method of treatment is championed by tough love advocates, but they tend to double down on the tough and ignore the love. Addicts dont need to be shamed. Generally speaking, they feel enough shame and guilt already. Substance abuse is often tied to mental illness, and these tactics simply stoke those vulnerabilities and drive them deeper into their vices. In fact, given the science of addiction, punishment is completely counter-intuitive. The main feature of addiction is that it compels someone to continue using a substance or exhibiting a behavior despite the ongoing negative consequences. The case of Cameron Douglas is an example that illustrates this very well. Put more simply, addiction makes people ignore punishments and consequences. So by its very nature, punishment is a completely ineffectual way to fight addiction.
Moving Toward A Public Health Approach
Five years ago, the 193 member nations of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs unanimously voted to recognize the need to approach substance use disorders as public health issues rather than punishing them as criminal offenses. Research is urgently needed to establish the effectiveness and impact of public healthbased alternatives to criminalization, ranging from drug courts and other diversion programs to policies decriminalizing drug possession.
In addition to policy research, proactive research is needed to address the racial disparities related to drug use and addiction. From the opioid crisis, we have learned that large research initiatives can be mounted that engage multiple stakeholdersincluding the justice system and the health care systemto cooperate toward the common purpose of reducing a devastating health problem. From the COVID-19 crisis, we have learned that the research enterprise can adapt and rapidly mobilize to address critical threats. These lessons can be applied to reduce systemic inequities in how addiction is addressed and to advance access to high-quality addiction care for all people who need it, whatever their race or background.
Nora Volkow, Addiction Should Be Treated, Not Penalized, Health Affairs Blog, April 27, 2021, Copyright © 2021 Health Affairs by Project HOPE The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
Controversial Thoughts We Have About Addiction
Addiction is a highly controversial word that tends to stir up debate: ask 10 people their opinion on the matter and youll wind up with 10 contrasting answers. But despite differing opinions, people are finally talking about addiction instead of keeping it in the shadows. Addiction is a major public health crisis, and it needs to be talked about. The more we discuss it, the more awareness we create. And the more awareness we create, the more likely it is that we can bring an end to this devastating epidemic.
More people agree that people can be helped before they reach their lowest point. As David Sheff writes in his book Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending Americas Greatest Tragedy: Many addicts are alive because their families didnt wait for them to hit bottom. And for every person who hit bottom and wound up in treatment, many others kept falling further and further downward For many, theres no bottomits a bottomless pit.
Addiction afflicts people from all walks of life. It doesnt matter where you live, what color your skin is, what you do for a living or how much money you have or dont have. No one is immune from addiction. Yes, there are homeless drug addicts. But there are also suburban soccer moms, bankers and lawyers who are drug addicts. They took a taste of a mind-altering substanceoftentimes as prescribed by a doctorand their brains sent the message that they must have more.
So, what aspects of addiction are people debating over?
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Drug Rehab Vs Incarceration
Spending time behind bars does little to support those with substance use disorders. It only provides a time-out before releasing them back to their environment without any tools to help them stay away from substances. If anything, people often return to their old way of life with a new method to avoid getting caught again.
Some institutions offer programs but they pale in comparison to a dedicated addiction rehab facility. The entire basis of a treatment facility centers around equipping individuals with the tools they need to live life without relying on drugs or alcohol. Jail and prison systems cannot possibly offer the same level of support offered in a drug rehab program.
Another reason rehab is a more effective alternative is the difficulty of finding adequate employment upon release. A criminal record deters many employers from offering someone a job. Offering first-time offenders the option to attend treatment rather than spend time in jail reflects better on their record. Theyre more likely to find employment after leaving a treatment center rather than an institution like jail or prison.
Additionally, jails dont usually provide much of a bridge between time behind bars and reintegrating into the real world. Treatment facilities make a point of helping people transition from the controlled environment of rehab to the chaotic reality of everyday life. Case managers work with clients to provide a clear path to follow after release.
How To Get Help For Drug Or Alcohol Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug misuse, know that help is available and recovery is possible. Professional rehab programs can equip those battling addiction with the tools needed to stay sober long-term. You can contact an admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers for free at at any time, day or night, to learn more about your treatment options. You can also check your insurance coverage online now to determine whether your insurance provider will cover inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.
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Should Acts Committed Due To Addiction Be Criminalized Do Addicts Need Punishment Or Do They Need Help The Federal Bureau Of Prisons Estimates That 484 % Of Their Total Population Is Housed Due To Drug Offences The Vera Institute Of Justice Released A Study In 2012 That Found The Aggregate Cost Of Prisons In 2010 In The 40 States That Participated Was $39 Billion The Annual Average Taxpayer Cost In These States Was $31286 Per Inmate New York State Was The Most Expensive With An Average Cost Of $60000 Per Prison Inmate These Figures Dont Include Healthcare Or Legal Costs
With addiction on the rise, the costs would most likely be much higher if calculated today. Addiction is an illness. Some say, a disease. Those of us who have it, arent bad people, but we are sick. We dont intentionally set out to destroy our lives, or the lives of our loved ones. Theres a burning need driving every addict. This need had no conscience, integrity, or morals. This need, is addiction. And sadly, we do commit crimes while in the midst of this malady.
Do I Have To Go To Prison Instead Of Rehab
Although most individuals qualify for drug rehabilitation instead of incarceration, you should be tested by a medical professional or consult a legal expert to determine if that is the case. The drug rehabilitation centre may not consider you for admission if you have not been physically dependent on the substance or have not followed up with caseworkers to determine that you have a problem.
It is acceptable to advocate imprisonment or incarceration for those with a history of violent crimes concerning drug rehabilitation preferences. Even if you are not experiencing a violent crime, bear in mind that you need to get counsel when faced with serious life events.
Inequitable Access To Treatment
While the opioid crisis has triggered some efforts to move away from punishment toward addressing addiction as a matter of public health, the application of a public health strategy to drug misuse remains unevenly distributed by race/ethnicity. Compared to White people, Black and Hispanic people are more likely to be imprisoned after drug arrests than to be diverted into treatment programs.
Also, a 2018 study in Florida found that African Americans seeking addiction treatment experienced significant delays entering treatment compared to Whites, leading to greater progression of substance use disorders, poorer treatment outcomes, and increased rates of overdose. These delays could not be attributed to socioeconomic status alone. Studies have shown that Black youth with opioid use disorder are significantly less likely than White peers to be prescribed medication treatment and that Black patients with opioid use disorder are 77 percent less likely than White patients to receive the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine.
Rehab Vs Jail Time: How Drug Rehab Provides A Path To Recovery
Most drugs are illegal throughout the United States. This includes drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and acid. Other substances like marijuana, prescription painkillers, or prescription amphetamines, are illegal under certain conditions. The legal system is tasked with handling drug-related cases in the United States. Any number of things involving drugs or even alcohol can result in legal action.
Selling illicit substances often results in automatic legal action. Drug distribution of any kind is a serious offense. But getting caught while buying, possessing, or taking drugs often leads to legal action as well. Anyone involved with drugs in any of these manners will likely find themselves at least ticketed, if not arrested. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is grounds for severe legal repercussions, too.
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Tip #: Have Realistic Expectations
Dont preach or lecture to the addict. They are usually unable to hear what you are saying. Continue to hold them accountable to expectations and offer help to direct them to the treatment they need. Dont expect addicts to keep promises, they are not able to do so while in the process of their disease. Dont react with pity or anger. This only keeps you in the process with the addict.
If your loved one is ready to get help, visit our Alcohol and Drug Treatment page to find out more about getting a referral and assessment.You can also contact Legal Aid programs in your area to see if you qualify for those services or they may be able to direct you to someone who can assist you.
The Health Sector Takes
If a political majority approves this approach in 2021, Norways approach to drug use and possession will be transferred from the justice sector to the health sector.
Norway will then take a completely different path than its neighbour Sweden, where punishment is still a strong component of that countrys drug policy.
It will also be an approach with its own past.
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Persuasive Essay On Rehabs
The United States has a drug problem. Theres no denying it. We also send more people to jail for drug abuse than any other country. some say we should send drug addicts to jail because they have committed a crimes whereas others say they are also humans and they should be treated for this sickness. why dont we have rehabs for every drug addict to go to?why do we need rehabs?how many people have gone to jail for committing drug crimes? People take rehab for granite, instead of using it
Stop The Cycle Of Addiction Contact Pathways Real Life Recovery For Treatment In Utah
The conclusion is that drug addicts are treated unfairly for aspects of their life outside of their control. There is no doubt substance abuse is a problem in society but penalizing the people who suffer such an illness is not the best way to address the problem. Pathways Real Life Recovery in Utah is a facility dedicated to digging down to the root of the problem to help addicts. Schedule an appointment with us today!
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Addiction Should Be Treated Not Penalized: An Interview With Nora D Volkow
As part of the SDG3 good health and wellbeing initiative at Springer Nature, we talk to Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, on her views about the treatment of addictions.
Elizabeth Yepez and Rachel Daniel25 Aug 2021
Nora D. Volkow, M.D., is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. A research psychiatrist and scientist by training, Dr. Volkow calls for a shift in US policies on drug addiction: For those with substance use disorders, treatment, not punishment.
She argues that current laws and policies that criminalize and incarcerate people who use drugs are counter-productive, and exacerbate the current opioid overdose crisis and other addiction-related problems.
Dr. Volkow discusses her recent Perspective, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, with Elizabeth Yepez, Executive Editor for Medicine and Life Science Journals, and Rachel Daniel, Co-chair of the SN SDG Mental Health Research Group and Editorial Director for Springer Behavioral and Health Sciences Books.
At Springer Nature we are committed to playing our role in advancing progress towards achieving the SDGs by both supporting researchers and being an active voice, promoting an interdisciplinary evidenced-based approach to all targets and indicators within this goal. Learn more about our Springer Nature SDG Programme.
From Punishment To Medicine
When drug use increased sharply in Norway and young people started using drugs, there was a strong belief that punishment could solve all problems.
From 1965 to 1984, the penalty for drug offenses in Norway increased from 6 months to 21 years in prison.
Nevertheless, drug use increased sharply.
Eventually, opinions changed, and optimism towards treatment took over. Several treatment institutions were established in the 1980s, Olsen says.
But few people were cured of their addiction.
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Is Addiction A Disease Or A Choice
From their viewpoint, people suffering from addiction have a chronic brain disorder: drugs change some of the interactions in the brains circuitry, which can lead to long-term side effects and harmful, self-destructive behaviors. But others say that addiction is a choice because nobody forced the addict to pick up a joint or a needle or a liquor bottle. This debate will no doubt continue for a very long time.
One Strike And Youre Out And No
In the 1980s and 1990s, drug-related violent crime skyrocketed. Several regulations were enacted in response, including eviction rules that allowed landlords to boot out public housing and public assistance tenants if they or anyone seen as under their control engaged in criminal activity, including first-time drug use. Despite challenges, the provision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2002. Among the evictions: tenants whose resident grandchildren smoked marijuana in the housing project parking lot, a tenant whose daughter was caught with cocaine three blocks from the apartment, and an elderly, disabled man whose caretaker was found in the apartment with cocaine.
Why its a bad idea: The idea of creating a safe environment for public housing tenants is a laudable one, but suddenly making a person or an entire family homeless, including those who may know nothing of the drug use, can do much more harm than good. A 2013 report prepared for Congress noted that the one strike and no-fault ruling was created in an era with much higher drug-related violent crime than today and may actually work against the goal of mending families. Intervening through a drug court rather than an eviction promises a much better outcome.
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Many Became Ill And Tired
At the turn of the millennium, around 100 drug users gathered every day at the Plata in central Oslo. Up to 1000 people would stop by to purchase drugs every day.
Public debate over the open use of drugs intensified. It wasnt just the Norwegian media that reported on what was happening in central Oslo.
Expensive Oslo is a cheap fix capital. In a country where drugs cost less than alcohol, heroin addiction is causing growing alarm to Norwegian authorities.
Drug users were sick and exhausted. Something had to be done.
Reducing damage has now become the new goal for drug treatment, Olsen believes.
At this point, medicating addicts took precedence over social work, Olsen said.
Rehab Punishment For Drug Addicts
Addiction is a compulsive craving for drugs and it is uncontrollable which also leads to an individual to the point of doing anything, whether it is stealing, committing murder or whatever it takes to be able to access drugs.
These drug cravings push people to do things they would not normally do. Their life becomes focused on how to get the drugs and how to keep their drug supply continually replenished. All types of crimes are committed by people simply trying to get drugs.
Residential property theft is high due to drug addiction. The addict will steal anything they can, such as TV sets, microwaves, VCRs, anything that can be turned into quick money in order to buy their drugs. They even resort to stealing from family and friends. Drugs are expensive to buy, so it takes a constant flow of cash to supply their addiction.
The argument goes on as to whether drug addiction is an illness or a crime and whether addicts should be punished or treatment given them to rehabilitate. Since 1914, after the Harrison Act was passed through Congress making it illegal to buy drugs, drug abuse has not slowed down, only risen to the point where there are more addicts today than ever before. In addition, there have been several other laws passed both on the federal, state and local level making drugs illegal, but laws have not deterred drug usage.
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