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Drug Addiction in Prison

Drug Addiction in Prison

Posted: August 14, 2020 by in Hope Recovery Addiction Center

Addiction does not discriminate. It does not care if you are rich or poor. Addiction, like any disease, can flip life around. For some struggling with this sickness, captivity is too often the outcome.
Too often, the addiction discussion fails to mention jailed individuals. These people are often very under-served and in need of support. The relationship between addiction and imprisonment is complicated. But recovery and rehab must remain the main focus. This is not a new issue in the country, but the way we address it is growing. Fortunately, there are solutions in place to ensure that everyone can improve their means despite social status.

Are you in jail? Are you suffering from addiction? Do you know someone that is? Call us at Recovery Addiction Rehab: (918) 779-0011. We can turn that addiction back around. Call us today, and we will walk you through the steps of addiction treatment. With our non-judgment policy, we will help anyone suffering from addiction. It does not matter where you come from, where you are, or where you are going. We only care about you getting the help that you need. Call us today, and let’s start your sober life as soon as possible.

A Brief History of the War on Drugs  

The war on drugs defines the link between drug addiction and confinement. It started in 1971 after President Nixon called for mandatory sentencing. Along with federal involvement of drug control agencies. This extreme criminalization of drugs led to a massive jump in imprisonment rates in the 1980s and 1990s.  

Policies outlined in the 80s drastically changed the publics’ understanding of drug abuse. At one point, it became the number one issue in the nation. The problem is that even once the madness died down, the extreme policing methods did not change. The number of arrests kept increasing.  

At the peak of the Bush-era, there were around 40,000 drug-related SWAT raids. Luckily, following this era, public opinion about drug change shifted positively. Even so, we have yet to see the full results of this switch. Today one of the main focuses is marijuana betterment. However, many of the same communities impacted by the original war on drugs face extreme sentencing for marijuana possession.  

Consequences For Communities

The war on drugs was difficult because it treated people suffering from addiction as criminals. It designated the bulk of resources to discipline. These essentially impacted black communities. The war on drugs left these communities in trouble. The lack of treatment helped open the door to violent crimes, poor mental health, and families’ loss. Heavy drug use was a symptom of society. Treating this trait without addressing the cause has lasting results.

If you, or someone you love, were affected by the war on drugs, then call us today. Our team of experts is standing by and ready to help you start your new path to sobriety.

The Link Between Drug Addiction and Prison

Why do people who struggle with addiction end up in jail? Do prisons have rehab for prisoners? 

We must remember that addiction is a disease—however, the results of this disease land many people behind bars. The following statistics, provided by The National Institute of Drug Abuse, reveal the certain link between substance abuse and imprisonment. For example:  

  • An estimated 65% of inmates in the U.S. have a substance use disorder (SUD).  
  • In addition, 20% of inmates did not meet the criteria for SUD. But inmates found to be under the influence at the time of their crimes.  
  • According to a recent report from The National Academy of Sciences, only 5% of jailed people suffering from opioid use disorder receive remedy. 

In short, a large portion of the United States’ prison population consists of individuals with an unhealthy attachment to drugs. To qualify for a SUDs diagnosis, an individual must have a drug use pattern that reduces their daily life or causes discomfort. This pain may lead to crime and bad life events.  

Many people who are struggling with SUDs battle with judgment and rejection. No one cares that they may have suffered traumatic events or loss of control. It is not to say that these outcomes are entirely the correctional system’s fault. Merely that being tough on crime cannot solve addiction. Our no judgment policy will ensure that anyone and everyone receives the help they need. Call us today if you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction. Above all, all we want to do is help those who are struggling. Our team is here to help. Call today.

Compassion Is Cheaper

Drug addiction and the failure to treat it creates real financial difficulty. A 2018 article from The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that substance abuse costs over $600 billion every year. This article also points out that while it only costs about $4,700 per patient for a year. Also, a single year of incarceration costs about $24,000 per inmate.  

The money spent jailing people with addictions could help fight addiction instead. It could go into research efforts to continue creating effective programs that keep drug users from engaging in crimes. Also, imagine if we used that money to build more housing. The number of employment opportunities for those on the path to recovery would increase.  

 The Dangers of Battling  Drug Addiction While in Prison

Sadly, jails and prisons are not doing enough to improve results for these helpless communities. This lack of support gives prisoners a hard time dealing with addiction while incarcerated. Leading to various social and financial outcomes that have permanent results. 

The need for better substance abuse treatment in prisons and jails is far more than a civic position. The current system puts these inmates’ lives at risk due to a lack of medicine and poor conditions. Prisoners who abuse opioids are at a particular risk. According to research, here are the current dangers connected with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD):  

  • Repeated drug usage creates a mental dependence on the drug. Causing the user to take more to reach the desired effect—this is known as increased tolerance.  
  • Assumed abstinence leads to a loss of this increased tolerance. Which puts jailed selves at high risk of a fatal overdose following release. 
  • A Washington state study found that the leading cause of death for formerly imprisoned individuals was a drug overdose within four years. 

This same article found that due to the linked risk, jailed people should get priority for OUD medications. Since there is drug use while confined, we can prevent overdoses by providing care for inmates during and after release. The fight against addiction is bodily, mental, and emotional for all parties involved. A criminal charge, even a conviction, should not strip an individual of their right to a healthy recovery. Are you a prisoner with an addiction? Then give us a call. We want to walk you through the proper channels of getting help. Take the first step, and call us today. Start getting better now. 


One fantastic drive for jailed individuals is the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). According to, RDAP is 

“a voluntary, 500-hour, nine-to-twelve-month program of individual and group therapy for federal prisoners with substance abuse problems. 18 U.S.C authorizes it. § 3621, which directs the Bureau of Prisons (B.O.P.) to provide ‘residential substance abuse treatment (and make arrangements for appropriate aftercare) . . . for all eligible prisoners.’ As an incentive to get prisoners to participate, federal law allows the B.O.P. to reduce RDAP graduates’ sentences convicted of ‘nonviolent’ offenses by up to one year.” 

The RDAP consists of three parts: 

  • A live-in schedule for prisoners  
  • Follow-up assistance that reintroduces the individual into the general community 
  • Prisoner participation in Transitional Drug Abuse Treatment (TDAT). This treatment lasts up to 6 months. 

These three phases make RDAP a complete program for inmates. Because it handles their care through every step of the journey. As mentioned previously, the program’s transitional appearance is excellent for prisoners at risk of a post-release overdose. 

One issue with this drug treatment in prison is that it only includes federal prisons, so state prisoners do not fit. 

While there are many options for help out there, we encourage you to call us. Recovery Addiction Rehab cares about their patients. Also, we care about the outcome of every sufferer. We only want to help you receive treatment and start your healthier life. Call us now, and we can get you started on a happier and healthier life today.

Other Drug Addiction Programs in Prison

While RDAP does not apply to all inmates, it is a great model for how other programs should look. Addiction is an issue with many layers. Therefore drug treatment programs in prison should be holistic and inclusive. The National Institute of Drug Abuse recommends treatments that include: 

  • Buprenorphine – which helps treat withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Methadone – which helps to relieve drug cravings.
  • Naltrexone – which can help prevent relapse for both alcohol and drug abuse.   
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy – which helps modify behavior and manage triggers.  
  • Contingency management therapy – which uses a rewards system to encourage positive behaviors.  
  • Shelter and employment opportunities  
  • Education – regarding overdose and providing individuals with the opioid reversal medication naloxone. 

Other ways inmates can find help following discharge include community centers, places of worship, and other programs. These tools are designed to help people recover from addiction. Families of addicts should also look into possible resources. 

 Moving Forward    

Finally, the most important thing is keeping a close eye on recently released people. Ensuring exposure to the same triggers after release. Researchers are continuously working on this issue. The treatment has proven to be the most efficient method.  

There is no magic bullet, and each individual has to find treatment methods that work best for them. However, one fact is clear: treatment is a far better direction than jail. Imprisoned individuals are more than just a statistic. They are vital community members. The system fails when it deals with addiction retroactively rather than proactively.  

In short, individuals dealing with SUDs account for a bulk of the jailed population. Treatment programs that treat addiction at every level are practical ways to ensure these individuals find decent recovery. As researchers continue to study addiction’s results, the systems that foster these individuals must continue to prioritize recovery regardless of social status. 

If you, or someone you care about, suffer from addiction while in jail call us today. We are equipped to help you find the treatment you need. So, if you need help do not wait. Call us today and get a jump start on your path to sobriety.


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