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How the Jail System Fails Addicts

Living in an overpopulated world driven by dollar bills and fiscal accumulation, there is a system and a place for everybody living and thriving in the United States. There’s this corrupt schematic at hand that we only see bits and pieces of when in regards to the truth. With Trump in office, who knows the possible outcomes for those who have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time- like so many do.

Diving straight into things, problems related to drug addiction are ever increasing as friends and families watch their loved ones immerse themselves into the misery that is the disease. Addiction and alcoholism corrupt the person’s soul as powerlessness and unmanageability take over. Much of the time, relationships are tarnished and addicts and alcoholics find themselves only associating with like minded people thus creating this whirlwind of chaos usually ending in death or incarceration of some sort. In complete rebound, the prevention of this our country offers and the jail system fails addicts.

Just Say “No”

Yes that’s right- we can’t forget the previous first lady coining the phrase “Just say no” and the stand she made with her famous slogan. Nancy Reagan may have been against addiction and taking a public stand for it, but she is definitely a culprit in making it harder to overcome for some. The jail system fails addicts due to punishing people for a disease that really could be prevented with proper bills and financial backing passed. This could help ensure that insurance covered detoxification and substance abuse treatment across the board and prevented future crime as well as death and resulting morgue expenses.

Maybe unbeknownst to her, she and her husband during that time period made incarceration inevitable for addicts and alcoholics down the road. The Reagans would go on to pass laws like the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 out of desperation to “help” with addiction which in turn looked at a slight to clean up “White America” essentially. Racism and all that part of politics completely aside so as to focus on the topic at hand, this act was detrimental to many and is a prime example of how the jails system fails addicts.

This act was passed in accordance with Congress’s decision that crack cocaine was more harmful than the powder version of cocaine, (even though identical on a molecular level and the corresponding harm to the mind/body). This would create the 100:1 ratio of charges and incarceration factor when arrested in possession of crack cocaine: powder cocaine. This act has since been abolished, for lack of better terms, and reduced to the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. Essentially it is the same law, but with an 18:1 ratio now at hand. It’s better but it’s still completely unfavorable to the chemically dependent persons that later become prime examples of how the jail system fails addicts.

man sitting in jail cell

When “No” Sometimes Isn’t Good Enough

The government has it set up intentionally so that the jail system fails addicts. I mean what do you do when there’s nothing you can do but you can’t do nothing? Excuse my poor English, but really think about it. That’s kind of what it feels like when deep in the throes of addiction and/or alcoholism. It’s a confusing life that takes you constantly on paths where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. For many of us alcoholics and addicts, we have had to take extra measures to ensure our sobriety remains solid as concrete. These additional precautions can be as simple as going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, getting a sponsor, working the 12 steps, and willing or forced addiction treatment.

The reality of the situation is that people with alcoholic thinking want to do what they want to do. We tend to have a difficult time separating our wants from our needs. It’s easy for people with our addictive mindsets to slip into a manner of unhealthy thinking or start justifying our actions in silly ways. It’s not an excuse. By all means, everybody deserves to pay for crimes and injustice committed. However, the consequential actions of an addict are from an illness of the mind that can be treated but never cured.

We need help in any way we can get it for this battle. Regrettably, while in the confusing haze of addiction, addicts and alcoholics tend to think irrationally and struggle to recognize when help is needed. Unfortunately, no addiction comes cheap.  More times than not, once it’s too late, Johnny Law ends up catching us.  

Fake It Until You Make It?

Incarceration shouldn’t be the only answerable solution to quiet the chaos that some of us chose to call life. Many of us addicts and alcoholics enter the prison system with no dedication to getting/staying sober because they are deep in the throes- it’s what lands them in there. Often times we find ourselves with this internal struggle of questioning life and how much effort we really want to put into it after seeing where it’s landed us.

For quite some time we were locked into this negative mindset and teetering on the edge of death. Now we’re being provided this opportunity to do some things over and live freely- while locked up. One pair of handcuffs is put on while another is taken off. Some of us familiar with the whole AA and 12 step thing debate whether it’s worth the trouble while others are just confused as to how it’s their fault. The point is- this could all be avoided if Congress or the people could truly see how the jail system fails addicts.  

The Choices We Make

Sometimes taking a step back and recognizing where we stand in life can be tough. Whether it’s forced or by choice, sometimes making it into a program of sorts can be life or death for some of us. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety or alcoholic tendencies and need a solution, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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