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Could Treatment Rather Than Punishment Solve The Drug Problem?

Drug use has been a big problem in Louisville, especially for the younger generation. Even though drug addiction can be treated, many drug users don’t seek formal treatment. Instead, many drug users find themselves at odds with the law. That’s why the Health Department of Louisville, in collaboration with the local authorities, has chosen the path of rehabilitating drug users rather than sending them to jail.

Dealing with the drug problem is the collective duty of the police, health departments, and recovery centers. The use of Narcan to reverse heroin overdose has successfully reduced overdose deaths by 30 percent. However, even with the drop in heroin use, there is still a struggle with meth and cocaine use.

Offering Treatment Rather Than Jail

First of all, when addicts don’t access drugs at all in a jail environment, the abrupt withdrawal from drugs could be fatal. Many jails are also not drug-free environments. Inmates often smuggle drugs into the cells and sell them to users, and even without money, addicts can still get drugs by offering services or even food to smugglers.

Secondly, what happens after they have been released from prison? They find themselves on the streets without jobs, homes, or even family and soon fall back to the drug problem. They will do anything on the streets like joining gangs and committing illegal acts such as robbery to get the money to buy drugs and satisfy their needs.

Which Solution is Cost Effective?

Between treatment and jail, which one will cost the government more? When a drug addict is admitted to an addiction treatment facility, he or she is likely get help once and for all. But when they are taken to jail, the state has to spend money on the judicial system, maintaining them in prison, and paying hospital bills when they overdose in the cells. When they are eventually released from prison, they often continue the same cycle.

Creating a Better Society

These drug users are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons or daughters to someone out there. Once they come out of prison, they have nothing to lay their hand on and they end up in the same drug use lifestyle that could be fatal one day. On the other hand, offering a permanent solution through drug rehabilitation would be beneficial to them, their family members, and the government.

Most drug users commit crimes out of desperation, and taking them to jail for several years may not be a good solution.  Possession of narcotic drugs is punishable by 2-7 years jail time. This a long time to spend in jail, and one might not be able to get his or her life back in order after the term. Most drug-related crimes attract serious penalties that could permanently ruin your life, but with the assistance of a trusted lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky, you might be able to find a resolution through drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation as opposed to a jail term.

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