Many people argue that putting someone in jail or prison for a drug crime does more harm than helping the addicted person. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, scientific research shows that time in jail or prison can be good for you if you have a drug addiction, but it depends on what happens when you are in there.
The most significant indicator of whether time behind bars will do you good is if you receive treatment through a comprehensive substance abuse program. If you do not get proper treatment while there, it increases your chances of dying of an overdose when you leave.
The keys to success
Not only do you need to have an effective course of treatment while in jail or prison but also research shows that treatment must extend after your release. While in jail or prison, your tolerance level for the drug reduces. You may not realize it, so when you get out, you use again at the same level you did before your arrest, and it is too much for your body to handle. Ongoing treatment can help minimize the chances of this happening.
The issue, though, is treatment inside jails and prisons is terribly lacking. If a system offers it, it is usually inadequate to properly help end addiction and rarely includes ongoing treatment after release. One reason for this is it is expensive, and many prison systems are already operating on slim budgets. Overcoming this requires educating the public on how well such treatment can help the community by lowering crime levels.