Topic: criminal courts
Those of us who work in treatment quickly sense a problem: people with addictions aren’t likely to respond to this approach.
…as one judge told me at a conference: “no matter how many jails you build, judges will fill them. It’s the easiest way to make this someone else’s problem, instead of ours.”
The theory is that the more users we put in jail or prison, the fewer left out on the street. So why hasn’t that substantially reduced arrest and overdose statistics?
Many of those programs treat opioid users without relying on medication, and yet manage to achieve remarkable success rates– sometimes 80% over a five year period.
In many communities, the push to get the drinker or user “off the street” has turned the jail into an unwilling detox facility.
…healthcare advocates have to work extra hard while proponents of a more punitive approach simply point to a crime committed by a drug user…
I suspect that the methodology for measuring success was far too narrow. Focused entirely on crime, they missed a host of other gains from participation in treatment.
Be sure to tell them to focus more on the positive things their loved one is doing versus what s/he has done wrong in the past.
Closure is a great aid to the process of recovery, as it allows you to shut the door to that part of your life and move forward to newer, better things.