Would it be better to rehabilitate drug offenders as mentally ill or incarcerate them as criminals?
I hear too often that drug abuse is an illness. I never seen doctors lock up patients.
I think it would be better to rehabilitate because if the go to prison they will just get more connections for their habit.
They are indeed locked up here -- In my state, a large proportion of chronic drug offenders possess Dual Diagnoses, meaning at least one other Severe Mental Disorder (SMD) in addition to drug addiction; and our state average is 4 (four) different SMDs per perp/patient. Long-term incarceration in locked psych wards in private and state facilities; and in state and county forensic institutes all occur first, followed by trial, should the perp/patients ever be certifed competent to stand trial. The locked psych wards of this nature are guarded by State, County, and local law enforcement officers and often have barred windows.
It is extremely difficult to rehabilitate a drug user/addict that suffers from 3 other SMDs - and some have 6 or more other SMDs, but we know that a prison sentence does not work on psychiatric disorders at all.
Well, that would depend on whether the drug offender is mentally ill or just an addict. People with untreated or improperly treated mental illness tend to self medicate. However, not all addicts are mentally ill. Many just have emotional problems but are in control of their emotions and behavior. Those are the ones that should be incarcerated.
Addiction is considered an illness, but not necessarily a mental illness caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
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