Health & Fitness

How Addiction Treatment During Prison Can Help Prisoners


Over the years, we have been able to determine the ways in which addiction treatment helps individuals struggling with substance use disorders. From medications used to treat and minimize withdrawal symptoms to behavioral therapy sessions that allow recovering addicts to recognize their triggers and the reasons they turned to substance abuse in the first place, addiction treatment can create real, positive change in the lives of recovering addicts.

Incarcerated individuals especially can benefit from addiction treatment while in prison or jail. These programs can help them in a number of ways, including all of the ways mentioned above. They can also help incarcerated addicts avoid returning to substance abuse in the future. In turn, this also minimizes an individual’s chances of engaging in criminal activity after being released from jail or prison. In fact, prisoners with substance use disorders who receive addiction treatment while incarcerated are seven times less likely to commit a crime after being released.

Substance abuse treatment for addicted prisoners also has been found to minimize the number of overdose rates in prison, improve the understanding and awareness of substance abuse and addiction among the prison population, and create better functioning members of society. Addiction treatment provides so many benefits to the prison population, 50 percent of which suffers from an addiction syndrome.

Sadly, many prisons and jails do not offer this kind of help to inmates, and as a result, dangerous cycles repeat. As long as we do not give prisoners the tools to break free from harmful, cyclical behavior, we cannot truly help them become rehabilitated.

Dorothy Latch

The author Dorothy Latch