The fundamental battle in the fight against substance abuse is the struggle to help the individual addict become drug-free. Drug Rehabilitation, supported by drug education, is the only weapon that can undercut the ebb and flow of supply and demand, and the spread of crime throughout the world, and gives a jail alternative that is statistically superior.  “We’re not protecting the public safety because we aren’t treating the problem,” said Joseph Califano, Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and the president of CASA. “We’re supporting the illegal drug market because we are just sending customers back.”

In America, dissatisfaction is growing with the national emphasis on arresting and incarcerating drug abusers, as few jail alternatives exist to incarceration. A 1999 study by the American Bar Association (ABA) noted that a 73 percent increase in drug arrests between 1992 and 1997 had resulted in no decrease in drug use.  State Senator Stewart Greenleaf wrote a sentencing law that has flooded Pennsylvania’s prisons with low-level offenders who cannot be paroled. “These laws haven’t worked as we planned,” he told the Atlantic Monthly. “We haven’t been honest to the public or ourselves.”

Dr. Max Ben, who has conducted research programs for the National Institute of Health, lays part of the blame for rehabilitation failures on a dependence on “medicinal” drugs to treat “illicit drugs”. For more than a century, physicians have advocated substituting supposedly benign (or at least ‘less harmful’) drugs to prevent or halt the destructive course of addiction,” he observes. “Time and time again, these remedies have failed to meet expectations, and often have lead to new addiction…” With no jail alternative, addicts often do their time, then relapse.

Atlanta Recovery Center

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