The National Institute on Drug Abuse released a report on July
24 showing that effective treatment for drug abusers in the criminal
justice system can reduce recidivism, save communities money and
reduce crime. The report, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment
for Criminal Justice Populations, outlines 13 proven components
for treatment of drug abusers, leading to lower rates of criminal
activity and cutting societal costs. For example, every dollar
invested in addiction treatment yields a $4 to $7 reduction in
The report was unveiled by NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow at a
national press conference in Chicago that highlighted innovative
criminal justice substance abuse programs, including a pilot project
to train judges about the neuroscience of addiction so they can
be better prepared to place addicted defendants in adequate treatment
|NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow unveils new report on
abuse treatment for criminal justice populations.
|Cheryl Cline, former offender in recovery from drug addiction,
shares her experience.
"Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations summarizes
more than three decades of research in terms of understanding the
effects of drugs on the brain and the effects of treatment in the
criminal justice system," said Volkow. "Its purpose is to help
merge the cultures of public safety and public health and address
an extraordinarily important problem." She was joined by several
former drug-abusing offenders whose lives have dramatically changed
because of successful treatment programs.
"Treatment saved my life," said Cheryl Cline, 29. "Without the
counseling programs of the Illinois prison system, I would not
be here today, celebrating 3 years of sobriety — happy, healthy
and not only a person that I can be proud of, but one that my parents
can be proud of too." After addiction to crack cocaine led to her
arrest and a sentence of 4 years in prison, Cline entered an intensive
drug treatment program and is now living drug-free and is dedicated
to helping others with substance-abuse problems.
|Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley expresses
support for the new NIDA recommendations.||
The report recommends recognition that drug addiction is a disease
of the brain that affects behavior, that recovery requires effective
individualized treatment and that continuity of care is critical
for drug abusers re-entering the community after incarceration.
The publication also includes answers to frequently asked questions
about addiction as a chronic disease; co-occurring mental, emotional
and environmental conditions that make relapse likely upon return
to society; components of treatment programs; cost-effectiveness
of treatment; and the role of medication in treating offenders
with substance abuse.
The publication will be marketed extensively to more than 175,000
organizations and individuals, including criminal justice administrators,
prison and correctional staff, drug abuse treatment providers,
policymakers, state and local health departments, epidemiologists
and researchers, public health and safety professionals and schools
of public health and criminal justice.
Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations can
be obtained from NIDA's web site http://www.drugabuse.gov or
by calling 1-800-729-6686. The web site also contains two slide
presentations, criminal justice-related fact sheets and congressional
testimony and links to additional resources.