Prison and Drugs are often mentioned in the same sentence due to the close association within the two. Not only are people sent to prison due to drug involvement or another, evidence shows that a large number of crimes are committed under the influence of drugs.

The Statistics

Out of the 2.3 million prison inmates, 85% of them have had or still do some kind of serious drug abuse history. This number is huge. About 458,000 inmates were actually under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the crime was committed or they are incarcerated due to drug violations like selling or buying drugs.

It is estimated that those inmates who are in prison due to drugs are more likely to be incarcerated again. These are the people who are likely to have a history of crime and have a complete network of other people involved in crime.

It is thought that addressing these patterns of addiction and restoring such prisoners to the economy would actually bring down the number of inmates that exist in the prisons today and result in significant taxpayer savings. According to Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) only 11 percent of the nation’s prison population is receiving some kind of treatment for drug abuse.

Rehab Programs and their Popularity

The CASA report also states that if all inmates who need drug treatment are provided with the rehab that is required (and it works), the nation would break even within a year. This relies upon the treatments actually working and deterring crime, but if so, “the nation would reap an economic benefit of $90,000 per year” per recovered inmate.

However, the fact is that only a small percentage of people are receiving adequate levels of substance abuse treatment and are therefore being given a sentence and put back into circulation for crime. Instead of increasing the rehab options for inmates, there is an attempt to give harsh punishments to those who are caught in drug trafficking or drug dealing.

What often goes unrecognized is that thousands of low level drug offenders are captured and sent to prison and face harsh sentencing when their crime was non violent.

Understanding the real truth of drug addiction is essential to be able to help drug abusers in a more permanent manner. Until a more long-term and positive approach is adopted towards drugs and prison, drug related crimes shall continue to occur and recur. the prison cells are likely to remain full all the time, eating away the tax payer’s money continuously, dragging lives in and out of prison.

While better recognition of the substance abuse problems of inmates is important to remedying this problem, it is also good to nip possible substance abuse in the bud. With a “home drug test” you can check up on your child and make sure they are not at risk for the dangers of drugs, both physically and socially.

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