Should you Treat Addicts or penalize them?

Most people use drugs, but they are not addicted to them, especially criminals. An addict is someone who struggles with losing control, has intense desires, and obsesses about consuming a particular drug or drugs. Genetics, environment, and social interactions are just a few of the many components that contribute to the development of addictions in individuals. Seek consultation from the best therapist in India at TalktoAngel for addiction issues.

The way addiction is currently treated around the world is very harmful and at odds with what we now know about the issue. Despite the fact that addiction is a medical problem that can be addressed, it is nonetheless handled as a criminal matter. Instead of receiving the assistance they require, many who struggle with drug addiction are harshly punished and treated like criminals. In order to address this ongoing health catastrophe, it is important to comprehend why addictions should be treated rather than criminalized.

We just make it tougher for them to seek treatment programmes by continuing to perceive people with addiction as criminals and social outcasts, which feeds an unbreakable cycle of addiction. If we are able to manage these various issues brought on by the current system, we must adopt a fresh perspective on addiction and treat it as a health issue.

The rationale behind the existing penal system is that by fining or imprisoning people for drug use, it serves as a deterrent and makes them less likely to use drugs in the future. The research, however, demonstrates that this isn’t the case at all; in many instances, incarceration only makes the issue worse. For instance, after being released from prison, people are more likely to overdose. After serving time in jail or prison, drug use also tends to rise. This is due to the fact that addiction is a medical issue that calls for specialized treatment methods. Whether they have or whether they have not been punished for using drugs, if the underlying health condition is not addressed, that individual will continue to do so.

Isolation brought on by imprisonment raises drug addicts’ likelihood of relapse. It makes sense that people are more prone to use drugs after being released from prison when this is added to the challenges they encounter in finding employment and reentering society. As a result, the existing approach to addiction management merely serves to exacerbate the problem.

Two-thirds of sentenced jail inmates and more than 50% of state convicts met the usual definitions of drug dependence. Before and throughout prison time, drug abusers were not treated. Many of these men or women developed a need for medication or began using prescription medications; they eventually fell into a state of denial and were unable to accept that they no longer required the drug.

Significantly fewer than half of those who were the victims of violent crimes claim that the perpetrator was drunk. Alcohol and drugs are frequently connected to the offender’s motivation. The offender is either currently inebriated or trying to get money for drugs and alcohol when they conduct the offence. Around 30% of assaults are rapes and sexual assaults, and less than 30% are aggravated assaults. Over 40% of crimes are violent or robbery-related, and many people are discovered to have several substances in their systems depending on the situation and the state of the surroundings. Given the data, “should drug addicts be treated or punished?” is a topic that numerous researchers are still looking into. This is particularly true given that the main offences that land convicts in jail are weapons offences and vehicle theft.

Since there is no efficient treatment programme offered to prisoners who sit behind bars, the number of addicts who relapse after being released from prison is rising. One of the penalties for drug usage associated with violent acts committed is jail time. Why should addicts receive punishment or treatment while the consequences of crimes like stealing, rape, and assault are “doing the time”? A co-occurring psychiatric disorder was present in at least 45% of people with alcohol use disorders and 70% of people with drug use disorders.

Therefore, if people seek therapy before becoming addicted, many crimes may be prevented. In this situation, education and awareness are absolutely essential, particularly in areas with a high level of violence and poor income. People with addiction experience changes in their emotional responses, a loss of control over their behavior, and a sense of good judgment.

In light of this, we must intensify our attention to the vulnerabilities and development of substance use and addiction. To find solutions to remove structural barriers to addiction treatment, we must investigate research collaborations involving federal, state, and municipal organizations as well as private health systems. In regions of the world where such unplanned experiments are already taking place, we also want financing for study into the outcomes of alternative regulatory and decriminalization frameworks for pharmaceuticals.

Drug use problems should be approached with a need for high-quality care and with compassion for those affected, as people with substance use disorders need treatment, not punishment. Being able to use science to lead us towards a more equitable model to treat addiction. I believe it’s quite possible.

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