Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Do You Help An Addict In Handcuffs?

Most addicts end up in jail at some point in their life.  I've barely avoided it multiple times and I know at least six others who had to do real time.  But what do you do with them if they are locked up?  Prisons are notoriously easy to smuggle drugs into and often do more psychological harm than good to those in them.  The UAE thinks that they may have the answer as they have developed a plan to implement treatment centers in each of their prisons that will allow them to treat imprisoned addicts as patients first and criminals second.  Honestly though, I have my own doubts.

For one, even traditional treatment centers are incredibly ineffective by most people's standards with roughly 60% of all addicts relapsing at least once.  Assuming that these centers are funded by public taxes, then I am simply wondering whether or not that kind of return is something which will be accepted by the general public.  Especially when compounded by the fact that these people would be in prison and yet be prisoners second.  It isn't hard for me to imagine the backlash this could have among the general public.

Don't get me wrong though.  I wish the UAE the best of luck with this program but it also seems like they may not fully understand the people they are going up against.  Addicts aren't rational when it comes to their dependence.  There's a reason most don't make it in recovery and that's because all of the treatment in the world won't make a difference if the patient simply can't stop no matter how much they may want to.  After all, the most important part of any program is that we are willing to change. 


  1. This was interesting and well done, but a little wordy

  2. An interesting post. When it comes to criticizing something (and we'll go over this more when it comes to review and critique), I think it's always best to offer some suggestions on how the thing being criticized could be more effective.

    I don't agree with Liann that it was overly wordy. Or if she thought so, maybe it's because that your article relies overly on passive voice. I found 14 examples in this one article.
    - are notoriously easy
    - are incredibly ineffective
    - are funded
    - I am simply
    - is something
    - which will be accepted
    - would be in prison
    - and yet be prisoners
    - It isn't hard
    - they are going up against.
    - Addicts aren't rational
    - There's a reason
    - that's because
    - is that we are

    In each case, the sentences could have been re-worded to use an action verb, making your voice more authoritative, persuasive, and powerful. Think, how would you go about re-working the sentences I pointed out? If you need help, please see me.

  3. hmm this was an eyeopener, and I appreciate that. This creates awareness of a real problem, and that's good.