As the ever increasing amount of illicit drugs are smuggled into the United States, a vicious cycle of crime and drug addiction has taken a strangle hold on the finances and law enforcement services of our country. The government has created a supposed “war on drugs” that has drained the country’s finances for over a decade, with little improvement to show. The law enforcement system of our country has burdened itself by incarcerating people for crimes that should not put them behind bars. Every prisoner requires approximately $25,000 in processing and care-taking fees every year. The large majority of these prisoners have been incarcerated due to possession of illicit drugs such as cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, or marijuana, to name a few. The government has also implemented a mandatory jail sentence for the first time offense of possession of many of these substances. The truth is that instead of putting these people behind bars, the government should enlist the help of a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility to help these people manage and overcome their drug addictions.
More often than not, people who are arrested for possession of an illicit substance do their time in jail and once free, resort back to their old behaviors. This is why we have so many people with multiple drug offenses. While in prison, they are never taught how to beat their addiction, and how to use useful relapse prevention techniques to kick the habit, therefore more often than not, they are looking to get high the minute they step out of jail. What other countries have done to combat the legal issues of addiction is to make Drug and Alcohol Treatment mandatory for criminals charged with drug possession. The idea is instead of incarcerating these criminals for lengthy periods of time, give them the help they truly need to fight their addiction to drugs, which will hopefully provide them with the tools necessary to stay away from drugs and out of jail in the future.