America’s Untreated Drug Problem: Part One
America has a problem.
The United States of America boasts the highest incarceration rate in the world – 2.3 million people are sitting as inmates in U.S. prisons across our nation. Of those 2.3 million people, 65% have been clinically diagnosed with substance use disorder or addiction issues, roughly 1.5 million people. Of those 1.5 million diagnosed, an astonishing 11% benefit from any kind of treatment for their substance use disorders while they are incarcerated. This is a major mishandling and tremendous social issue. With no treatment, inmates and the correctional system are completely overlooking the root of the problem, and are short-changing our communities in the process. Our nation’s continued failure to address the substance abuse issues that lead to incarceration at the source increases crime and is nothing more than a gross misuse of government funds. Not providing treatment for substance use disorder is a fundamental misunderstanding of the correctional system, and it has grave impacts on our neighborhoods, economy, and country as a whole.
America’s problem is just like the disease of addiction, a sickness that makes us more ill with each day that we fail to take action to resolve it. Mass incarceration is one of the symptoms of this sickness. By continuing to incarcerate people with substance abuse issues while neglecting real treatment for their underlying issues, we are increasing crime in our communities, allowing recidivism rates to continue rising, and missing the opportunity to make significant reductions to overall crime across the country. Incarceration itself has proven to not be effective: upon release from prison, between 60% and 80% of substance abusers commit a new crime, and 85% to 95% relapse quickly to substance abuse. To top it off, we are failing to spend tax dollars in an effective and efficient manner. In some cases across the country, a year of tuition at Harvard is less expensive than the cost of incarcerating a person for a year.
Infinite Recovery proposes to solve this issue via the “Infinite Approach.” Our team of trained professionals has the resources to start and can start solving this issue now—without any political fights in Congress or the media. Community treatment centers across this country can begin to receive those that need treatment, and the treatment they provide can be a part of answering our nation’s problem.
This the first article of Infinite Recovery’s series on the new American epidemic and how we can address one of the largest issues confronting our nation, highlighting every aspect of the issue, and exploring the best solutions available. Infinite Recovery will uncover the often unknown facts and provide evidence-proven solutions. This series will explore and dive deeply into the real impact and significant ripple effects that solutions like incarceration reform and treatment strategies can provide for our society, and how the Infinite Approach has the possibility of touching each and every American citizen on a personal level.