Addiction is a legitimate disease of the mind, and it’s been proven by science. It’s even been added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is used to help doctors, psychologists and other medical professionals when they’re trying to determine if someone has a mental illness.
For many years, the War on Drugs has put many drug addicts in jail who may have been better off going to treatment. Sometimes it’s necessary to remind ourselves that addicts aren’t bad people. They’re sick people who need treatment in order to get well.
Why People Think Addicts are Criminals
By all outward appearances, those who commit crime to fuel their addiction are criminals. Desperate addicts will rob people at gunpoint to get their fix, but many addicts are very loving and compassionate individuals when sober.
Addiction causes people to believe that they need drug or alcohol by any means necessary, which means they’ll have no problem committing a crime to continue drinking or using. The reality is that more than 75% of the United States prison population consists of people who committed crimes under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or they committed the crime to obtain more.
How Drug Treatment Court is Helping Addicts
When individuals are suffering from addiction and sent to jail, especially at a young age, they feel even more hopeless than they did before. Once they’re released, it’s even more difficult for them to get their life on track by going to school or getting a job with a drug felony or other charge on their record. This causes many people to return to their old ways because they’ve given up all hope.
Drug treatment court recognizes addiction as a disease, so it gives an option to people who are in front of a judge for drug- or alcohol-related crimes. Rather than serving jail time, people can go through drug treatment court where they’ll receive treatment while being under supervision as well. These individuals may have to go to inpatient or outpatient treatment, and they’ll also be subject to random and mandatory drug tests.
Drug treatment court isn’t in every state or city, but the benefits are proving to be very clear. Areas that have implemented drug treatment court have seen that every $1 put toward drug treatment court saves the criminal justice system $2.
Many will remain sober after completing the drug court program. Since they’ve learned how to recover, they’re less likely to commit a crime and much more likely to stimulate the economy by becoming a productive member of society.
Effective treatment at a reputable drug rehab center is the answer for decreasing the number of addicts in this country. If you or someone you love uses, don’t wait until you get into legal trouble to do something about your addiction. A quality drug rehab center can help you reclaim your life from the chains of addiction.