Prisoners and Addiction

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Prisoners and Addiction

By | April 2011
Page 1 of 2
Prisoners and Addiction
Persnikitty Geautier
June 10, 2006

We are already relatively aware of the biological aspects of addiction. We will be considering how this “disease” affects the amount and the type of inmates currently in our prison systems. Disease from addiction spreads to more than just the intake, but also the after effects of what the acts themselves can cause one to obtain.

When one is highly addicted to a drug of some kind, it often reels that person in to a poverty ridden state. The prisons are riddled with people who were in poverty before incarceration. Many believe this is because they cannot afford an attorney that could prevent incarceration. Perhaps they USED to be able to afford such a luxury, but the addiction itself caused that person to relinquish their resources in order to finance their habits.
When a person is incarcerated, and is under the influence of a strong drug or alcohol, their withdrawal is often times excruciating. They are not given the medications necessary to come down slowly, as would be given in a rehabilitation center, but are required to come down “cold turkey”. This can cause a bloody nose, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, and sleeplessness. These symptoms are sometimes so severe, the inmate will have difficulty eating and even physically functioning when called to court. This can greatly affect the outcome of one’s future.

Many Doctors and public officials would like to see addicts treated rather than incarcerated, with more emphasis on medical treatment. However, negative reaction from Capitol Hill, where a lock-them-up-and throw-away-the-key attitude to drug addicts dominates.  Many feel that rich addicts get treatment, and poor addicts get prison.

As I have earlier stated, many feel that rich addicts get treatment, and poor addicts get prison. Poor drug addicts cannot afford expensive drug treatment facilities or high-powered lawyers. Many poor addicts are homeless, having...