Drug Programs Prove More Effective Than Jail
Many times, when an individual is arrested for felony drug possession they go straight to jail. Here the disease of the addicted person is simply put on hold, waiting to get out so they can use again. This is most likely followed by more jail time. The good news is that officials in TOTTENVILLE, Staten Island plan to change that. Law enforcement announced a new program called H.O.P.E it stands for Heroin Overdose Prevention and Education. Under this new, cutting edge program people arrested for drug charges could be sent directly to drug treatment programs.
Prison Doesn’t Have to Be One of The Effects of Drug Abuse
Under the H.O.P.E program, anybody arrested for criminal drug possession is eligible for a substance abuse treatment program should they choose to accept it. Once enrolled in the program and all 5-weeks of chemical dependency therapy are completed, this fully involved city-sanctioned directive would ensure that all charges were dropped. Law enforcement officials from Staten Island, who all enthusiastically support the project feel that if they can reach the individuals addicted to heroin during the early stages of use that has a greater likely hood of keeping that person out of jail and off drugs for good. Officials feel that there are many effects of drug abuse that they can’t stop, but jail time is one they can have an impact on.
Is 5 weeks of Heroin Treatment Enough?
Some detractors claim that the drug program’s 5-week requirement is not nearly enough to make an impact on many heroin abusers. Many times, the effects of drug abuse have taken such a toll on the user that the entire 5 weeks is needed just to eliminate the mental and physical withdrawal symptoms, then real progress can begin. While we do agree that 5 weeks of outpatient treatment is not nearly enough to begin a full life of recovery we also feel that this program is a great step in the right direction
Long-Term Recovery Rarely Begins in Jail
The clear majority of men and women who are in long-term recovery have done so through drug programs and other 12 step-based institutions. If sending people to jail was the best way to help them stay sober, more people would be sober. The H.O.P.E. program is the first of its kind to treat drug abuse as a disease and not a crime. The first of its kind to take drug addicts off the street and put them directly into drug rehab. It is so simple, it’s a shame it hasn’t been thought of sooner. It’s a shame that more cities do not employ this tactic. By treating alcoholics and drug addicts as sick and suffering human beings and helping them get into drug programs you are making an investment in their future and the future of the community. When you send drug addicts to jail, you just have drug addicts waiting to get out.