10 Jun New Study Has Health Officials Petitioning For Treatment Programs For Non-Violent Drug Crimes
Crime and drugs; two words that often go hand-in-hand. Statistics are clear that illicit drugs are at the heart of many crimes committed today. The real question is what can be done about it?
The release of a national drug report has public health officials urging law makers to consider widespread drug treatment programs as a means of decreasing U.S. crime.
A report issued by the Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington showed that anti-drug campaigns may be responsible for the decreased use of certain forms of cocaine. The report showed that the past nine years have seen a significant drop in crack and powdered cocaine, while total unlawful drug use has decreased by 30 percent since the late 1970’s.
Government officials touted the numbers as evidence that the Obama administration’s focus on treatment for non-violent criminals versus jail time is working.
However, the study reaffirms the link between drugs and crime. Of the thousands of men arrested in 10 major cities last year, nearly 71 percent had drugs in their system at the time their crime was committed. And, drugs were involved in approximately one-fourth of violent crimes and crimes involving the destruction or theft of property.
Because of this, many believe that our nation’s drug problems should be treated as a public health concern and not just a legal issue.
Those who advocate for treatment in place of sentencing state that drug courts are a better option because of the chance for rehabilitation. It’s common knowledge that drugs inhibit people’s thinking and rationalization skills.
Drug experts claim that someone who undergoes treatment for drug abuse is almost 60 percent less apt to continue in that lifestyle than someone who does not receive treatment.
The only problem is that there aren’t enough drug courts to keep up with demand. While it is estimated that more than 70 percent of those incarcerated could be rehabilitated, only a mere seven percent are receiving treatment.
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