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Drug Abuse Treatment vs Punishment

Posted on :  January 6th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The experience is unique for every municipality when it comes to drug abuse. However, whatever differences they may have all points to one commonality that majority of criminal cases have a connection to drug abuse. Did you know that about 77% of cases presented in court in one county in Pennsylvania has been linked to drugs?

Drug Use and Crime

It cannot be denied that there is an existing link between crime and drug use. Are you aware that there are at least 5 kinds of drug-related offenses? What are these?

  1. Drug possession or sales;
  2. Actions related to obtaining drugs like stealing for drug money;
  3. Association with known drug offenders or drug markets;
  4. Abusive and violent behavior leading to assault (physical or sexual); and
  5. Driving under the influence resulting in damage, accidents, or fatalities.


These actions are punishable under the law and can lead to incarceration. In 2012 alone, there were about 7 million adults punished by the criminal justice system and sent to federal and state prisons (including local jails) for drug related offenses. With another 5 million placed under probation or parole supervision. These are very alarming statistics especially when you consider that roughly 1 in 4 of violent offenders were under the drug influence during the commission of the crime.

Changing Attitudes

Are you aware that despite these glaring statistics, as many as two-thirds of Americans prefer that these drug offender be placed under rehabilitation programs rather than be punished with incarceration? This changing attitude was reflected in a survey of 1,821 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center. What does this changing perception mean? Is it possible that people are seeing drug addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal one?

Based on the survey, the people still view the drug abuse problem as a serious one, but what has changed is how people want the problem to be handled. More and more people believe that treatment rather than punishment should be the way to go.

In 2001, 47% believed that mandatory sentences for drug crimes should be done away with; this number rose to 63% in 2014. What has swayed the shift in opinion? Many experts believe that more and more Americans prefer to help drug offenders and the community in a way that is more relevant than simply locking them up.

The U.S. Sentencing Commissioner put forth a proposal that will reduce average prison sentence for non-violent drug crimes by 11 months. This will affect as many as 70% of offenders and will cut 6,550 prisoners out of the system in about 5 years.

Cost of Punishment

The cost of punishing drug offenders does not come cheap. This is especially true for high profile cases that rely on huge law enforcement manpower and numerous court hours. The financial burden to the criminal justice system even extends to the training and education of law enforcement.

Considering that many of those punished are repeat offenders point to the fact that the justice and correctional system is simply continuously spending huge amounts of money on people who are not being rehabilitated. This means drug offenders may be doing time, but they are not getting back the quality of life that will allow them to become productive members of society. In the end we are looking at huge investments without the proper returns.

Benefits of Rehabilitation

Many would try to insist that rehabilitation also has its failures. This may be true to a certain extent, but, this further highlights the need to use the right treatment methods done by the proper recovery clinic.

When you put all these factors together, you will have an effective treatment program that is more effective than any incarceration or punishment. By providing these drug offenders with the treatment to get them cleaned up, you are creating individuals who will have a life beyond drugs. This is the only way to stop the vicious cycle they have put themselves in.

Probably, it would be more expensive up front, but at least, you will be investing in something that will have a return. You will get back a person who has been equipped with the necessary tools to have a drug-free life.

Towards Recovery Clinics Inc., invests in continuously helping individuals to rebuild and take control of their lives beyond drugs. Call them today to help you get back on the right track!

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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