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2012 Drug Addiction Policy Shifts Towards Rehabilitation

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 145

The Obama administration has just released a new vision for re-shaping the fight against drug epidemics.

This seems to be a serious departure from the last two decades - particularly since Obama has just returned from the annual Organization of American States meeting, where he received a withering barrage of demands for drug decriminalization from the leaders of Colombia, Guatemala, and El Salvador. While the President insisted that the US does not consider that an option, Colorado is one of a handful of states that will be considering full decriminalization of marijuana in 2012.

The White House's "National Drug Control Strategy" also supports a change in the way law enforcement perceives and reacts to drug problems. While many of the proposals are just funding the same old projects, there is a noticeable demand for rehabilitation over incarceration. Noting statistics such as the booming difference in recidivism between regular felons and those that are drug addicts, the government seems to be acknowledging that the cost of drug enforcement is much more effective when addiction treatment is involved. They are therefore asking states to review the policies under which they consider drug addicted prisoners for release, public housing, and treatment, because, as the strategy states, "drug addiction is a disease."

Combined with the Affordable Care Act, the administration is further hoping that healthcare will cover the costs of drug addiction rather than paying for it with law enforcement funds. While whether or not paying these costs through a different arm of the government is really going to change things is a good question, the success of rehab over incarceration has been backed by scientific data for some time.

Prisons are one of the worst places to be for someone who wants or needs to quit drugs. Not only does its very nature spur the desire to do drugs but prisons often do not try very hard to keep contraband out, so many convicts are able to continue their habits behind bars. Prison also encourages more criminalistic behavior that encourages parolees to go back to destructive habits when they are released, and that goes double for those who abuse drugs or alcohol.

Unlike many prisons, there are few rehabs that do not take reformation seriously. Going through a detox and recovery program is never easy and shouldn't be construed as an "easier" option compared to sitting behind bars with no motivation to self-improve. Addiction treatment centers confront emotional and psychological problems in ways that the prison system today shows no interest in trying anymore and empowers patients to live sober and healthy. For those that are saved from their overpowering addiction, their days where they resorted to crime to fund their habit will be gone for good.

Find more information and resources about drug addiction treatment and recovery:

Source: EzineArticles
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