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Drug Abuse Treatment for the Criminal Justice Population

Posted on :  September 22nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The criminal justice system is overloaded with people who have a history with addictive drugs. Because people who become addicted to drugs make risky choices, many of them end up in jail at some point in their lives. As more jails and prisons begin to recognize the connection between drug addiction and criminal activity, more jails and prisons are offering programs that help their inmates detox and learn how to live a life free of debilitating drug use.

These are some of the principles that should go into treatment programs for men and women who are in the criminal justice system:

  1. Drug addiction affects thought processes as well as behaviors which is why so many drug addicts end up in jail. Since drugs actually alter the chemistry and anatomy in the brain, people who recover are likely to relapse at some time – even if they have been away from drugs for an extended period of time.
  2. It is important that drug addicts are involved in an appropriately timed treatment program. It should not be cut short. The treatment program should offer management long after the inpatient program has been completed.
  3. Drug addicts, even those in prison, should be given a therapeutic treatment designed to help them break their addiction. The treatment program will include different types of treatment in many stages. When drug abusing criminals are reentered into the community, they should have resources available to them to help them stay away from drugs.
  4. The goal for drug addicts in prison should result in changes in the addict’s behavior. If nothing changes for the addicts, then the treatment is not successful. Behaviors can change if the drug addict can learn some new techniques to alter their ways of thinking in regards to drugs. In many cases, addicts who are in jail have other disorders, like mental illnesses. They will need extensive therapy that could last three months or more. After detoxing from the drugs of abuse, making behavioral changes is the focus of therapy.
  5. Every drug addict that enters a treatment program will first be assessed. This involves extensive batteries of questionnaires to determine all of the issues with drugs. These assessments have been thoroughly vetted so it is nearly impossible to “beat the test.” The assessments also need to include questions that look into behavioral and psychological issues. This allows for a complete treatment program.
  6. Every drug addict in the criminal justice system needs to have an individualized program. The program should take several factors into consideration including age and gender, religion and culture, medical history, and so much more. The program should allow the addict to work with family members to maintain healthy relationships. It should also help addicts who are incarcerated learn how to get back into the working world and into society in general.
  7. Each person in a treatment program should be closely watched. The triggers should be recognized so that the addict and their support people can help the addict avoid the desire that could result in relapse. In some cases, there will be rewards and punishments – just like the psychological programs that help with learning.
  8. When the program is developed, it is important to consider the requirements that are in place regarding supervision of the criminal. Treatment providers must work with the people who work in the prison. These requirements might change as the addict earns more privileges.

Even if people are spending time in jail, they still need to receive the best possible care to help them fight their drug addictions. It is ethical to be sure that men and women who enter the criminal justice system with a drug addiction, re-enter their communities with the skills to stay away from drugs and become assets to those communities.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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