In our opinion: Better rehab services for drug offenders is a win-win

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  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Dec. 27, 2018 8:52 a.m.

    Rick for Truth - What is it that you propose? Should we keep doing the same thing and hope for a different result? Your statement is very broad and general.

    As a recovering methamphetamine addict (21 years) and active twelve step participant, I know of many, many former inmates/probationers (myself included) that were able to successfully recover on their first or second attempt with the help of rehab. I attended the LDS Hospital Dayspring program and learned the skills necessary to stay clean and sober. They helped to address my underlying issues that were causing me to make the terrible decisions that led me to drink/use in the first place.

    Voluntary rehab is the best, but involuntary rehab is often a first step toward getting someone to acknowledge that they have a problem and seek help.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2018 8:45 a.m.

    Drug addiction is a legal issue when it is supported by criminal activity such as theft, dealing and other crimes. There must be a two pronged approach of both addiction recovery and holding drug users accountable for criminal acts.

  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Dec. 27, 2018 6:08 a.m.

    My 56 year old brother has been in and out of jail for the majority of his adult life. I estimate that he has spent at least forty percent of his time incarcerated during the last ten years. He is a hard core alcoholic and substance abuser and has been since he was 16. He's never been sentenced to prison; instead, he has either done his time in the county jail or at the state mental hospital. The criminal justice system has never provided him with any sort of rehab opportunities. I think that his life could have been different had someone intervened in his life early on.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2018 1:41 a.m.

    The recidivism rate for jails are even higher then prisons. Probationers, parolees have even a higher rate. My neighbor, a state probation officer cannot remember a single drug addict he supervised every make it off without going back on drugs multiple times. We are fooling ourselves thinking we can successfully rehabilitate more than 5%. This is a black hole money pit. Better to give addicts a safe place to shoot up with free drugs.

  • blackfalcon American Fork, UT
    Dec. 26, 2018 10:19 p.m.

    while you do have a point, we dont seem to have any problem paying for decades long prison sentences for drug offenders while having a 80% recidivism rate. Id rather pay a little more for an actual solution.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 26, 2018 5:15 p.m.

    Nowhere in the editorial or the linked stuff from the Utah Foundation could I find any actual data showing that rehab services actually work. Or their cost, so we can evaluate the cost-effectiveness to see if they are worth funding.

    Just spending money on "rehab" services that do not work for a significant number of drug abusers is not useful or affordable.

    As long as drug abusers commit crimes to support their addictions, they must be treated as criminals. If any actually want to kick their habits, they by all means give them rehab- one time.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 26, 2018 3:16 p.m.

    Very few people wind up in prison simply for using drugs, though many people in prison have drug problems.

    Most who wind up in prison are there for dealing drugs--often to raise money to support their habit--or for property or violent crimes, also associated with their habit.

    It is easy, in isolation, to be all for more rehab and less prison if we talk about "drug crimes". But many of the posters singing this tune on this story today, are the same ones who rightly demand to know why some violent gang banger was walking around on parole able to harm another victim. Gangs are involved mostly with drug related crimes. Many users of drugs, many addicts, will readily turn to violence if that is the difference between getting their fix today or dealing with withdrawals.

    I'm not suggesting we abandon efforts at rehab. I'm just reminding us that most so-called "drug crimes" that actually land someone in prison involve more than just personal use and we need to remember that as we consider on the proper balance between rehab and incarceration.

    Put another way, in any case where you are not fully comfortable restoring all rights including RKBA, some incarceration is likely warranted.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 26, 2018 1:05 p.m.

    There needs to be full accountability on the addicit's end as well if taxpayers are to help for rehab for them. Many of their families are enablers. They too need to participate in the addicts treatment so they can stop their enabling of them.

  • Strider303 American Fork, UT
    Dec. 26, 2018 10:49 a.m.

    I can agree with the idea that substance abuse/addiction is a medical/psychological issue and can be dealt with somewhat successfully with current available treatments in and out of incarceration. I also feel the reason these people come to the public's attention is for criminal behavior. Theft, embezzlement, prostitution, pimping, armed robbery, etc..

    Compassion for the addict has to include some sense of response, i.e., punishment for the crime committed against the victims and society. I don't feel comfortable giving a pass to criminal behavior just because they claim addiction.

    While we are at it, some discussion on precursor behavior to addictions would be nice. Drug abuse just doesn't spring up overnight in someone's life. I suggest teen-age drinking, vaping, smoking, recalcitrant behavior are possible indicators of destructive life style behaviors that will lead some, perhaps not all, to drug addiction.

    This will lead us to the elephant in the room: recreational use of marijuana.

    Why does society have to permit addictive substance use and probable abuse by citizens, and then fund rehab for criminal acts used by the same citizens to support their habit?

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    Dec. 26, 2018 9:20 a.m.

    Heroin comes in 95% walking across the southern border. One of the main purposes of the new slat fence is hopefully going to stop or at least slow it down. As the drug epidemic is about $500 billion it would seem even a modest 10% reduction in heroin might save us $50 billion. Plenty to pay for a fence.
    A heroin addict it is true is not and should not be treated as a criminal. Still I think we must treat addicts whether they want to be treated or not. Would a rehab farm be a useful idea? Take the addict out of circulation for the drug dealer no more selling to this addict and treating the addict in a more appropriate setting.
    Obviously drug dealers should be incarcerated for a long time. Cartels are very wealthy and powerful and very serious about their business. If we don't suppress them they will suppress us.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 26, 2018 9:08 a.m.

    With the crackdown on prescribed opiates, and the increase in drug addiction treatment, we should see a lowering of the number of people addicted, incarcerated, house break-ins, car break-in, and maybe even a decrease in gang activities...speculation on my part.

    drich - Green River, Utah

    "Who's going to pay for this health issue? The addict, parents, or the citizens."

    The answer: The same people that are paying for police, courts, jails and prisons for these people. You know, the same people that pay the taxes that churches don't pay for fire and police protection...taxpayers!

  • drich Green River, Utah
    Dec. 26, 2018 8:12 a.m.

    Who's going to pay for this health issue? The addict, parents, or the citizens.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Dec. 26, 2018 6:39 a.m.

    Drug addiction is a health issue, not a penal issue.

    Most people locked up in jail are there for addiction issues.

    It makes no sense to toss addicts with a health problem into jail, unless that jail is a for profit business and you own stock in that enterprise.