Drug use is a national epidemic in the United States that leads to other addictions, violence, job loss and very often can also lead to incarceration, institutionalization and death. Approximately 60 percent of individuals arrested for different types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at the time of arrest (NCADD 2014). Prison is a world within itself out of which drugs, weapons and other items are purchased on the black market, allowing prisoners to obtain drugs and feed their addictions behind bars. There are plenty of people that become addicted to drugs once they’re incarcerated due to the conditions of living in prison. Knowing this it is no surprise that the onset or progression of addiction and mental health issues are very common inside jails and prisons.
Programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous often conduct panels and meetings in prisons to give inmates a chance to get a sponsor and work through the 12 steps to recovery. Many people are able to get clean and stay clean in prison. The ability to read, journal and take alcohol and drug education and relapse prevention classes greatly helps addicts in prisons to decrease rates of relapse.
Nonresidential drug abuse treatment is available in some prisons for those who have shorter sentences, presented a positive urine-analysis test or didn’t meet or are waiting to meet requirements for the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment program. This course of action consists of a 12-week cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment strategy conducted in a group setting which seeks to teach participants life-skills building via community adjustment, interpersonal communication skills and rational thinking.
RDAP is a nine-month program consisting of the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and living in a pro-social community where prisoners are able to participate in half-day therapy, half-day work, school or vocational activities. The Psychology Services Branch has a reentry program called Community Treatment Services which provides care for offenders placed in Residential Reentry Centers, as well as Home Confinement. There are contracted community-based treatment providers in every U.S. state so program participants have access to counseling for drug addiction, grief/loss, adjustment issues, anxiety and depression, as well as for relapse prevention and alcohol education for probation requirements.
Many drug users who have gone through counseling or educational programs in prisons or jails are able to quit using. Unfortunately some are no which poses a great problem when attempting to gain employment. It’s important that a former drug user who has left prison or is getting ready to has a plan to treat their addiction when they get out of prison. Doing so will make finding employment much easier.
There are many employers that will hire former felons, given that they have demonstrated progress in treatment and recovery. Depending on the person’s sentence,they may or may not be required through the courts to attend group therapy such as relapse prevention, alcohol education, anger management or other types of group therapy classes. This is one way that a felon can start building a new reputation of responsible behavior and it can be monitored via the courts, private probation officers, therapists or social workers. If no aftercare requirements are necessary for court purposes, 12-step meetings, state funded counseling, group therapy, anger management, relapse prevention and alcohol education classes are great ways to build interpersonal skills, develop new relationships and learn healthy coping skills, as well as job interview etiquette and resume building tips.
The following programs are offered through the federal government and individual states to assist ex-offenders in getting employment:
It’s possible to start living a new life upon finding employment and establishing a stable recovery strategy to overcome one’s addiction. Inpatient or outpatient treatment has produced the highest results for treating drug addictions. Working with a therapist, as well as having a support network of like-minded people to encourage recovery from drugs and work together to develop new coping skills greatly increases one’s chances of staying clean and sober. Detox from drugs or alcohol, as well as working through interpersonal issues one may have developed in or out of prison/jail system is also available.
If you would like more information on how to find treatment for drug or alcohol abuse or addiction, you can call the 24/7 Recovery Helpline at 855-441-4405 to speak to a member of our team and start the journey to recovery today.